French soccer boss faces calls to resign after Zidane comments

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The head of the national ethics commission of the French Football Federation (FFF) has called on the president of the governing body, Noel Le Graet, to resign from his post.

Patrick Anton made the comments on Tuesday, a day after Le Graet apologized to French great Zinedine Zidane for remarks about the ex-Real Madrid coach that drew anger from players, politicians and the Spanish club.

Zidane was one of the favorites to take over as France manager if Didier Deschamps left, but the latter’s contract was extended after leading the national side to the World Cup final. which they lost to Argentina last month.

When asked if Zidane, a World Cup winner with France in 1998 and a national icon, would now lead the Brazil national team instead, Le Graet told RMC: “I don’t care, he can go where he wants.”

Anton told French newspaper L’Equipe: “Le Graet has made comments that show he’s lost some of his lucidity. He’s a tired man, who needs to move on.

“We need strong and calm governance, which unfortunately is no longer the case. All season long, we must apply the rules of ethics to leaders – in particular to district and league presidents – and refer cases to the committees discipline because they crossed the line.

“As far as the president of the federation is concerned, while we obviously have no intention of going to a disciplinary committee, we can only ask him to resign in the interest of football.”

L’Equipe reports that a meeting of the FFF’s executive committee will take place on Wednesday.

The FFF was not immediately available for comment.

Earlier, France striker Kylian Mbappe also expressed his disapproval of Le Graet’s remarks, saying on Twitter: “Zidane is France, we don’t disrespect the legend like that.”

French Sports Minister Amélie Oudea-Castera was one of many politicians to react to Le Graet’s remarks, saying the president of the country’s “biggest sports federation” had crossed a line.



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