La Graet has sparked significant controversy with his recent comments regarding Zidane’s links to the Blues coaching job, joking that he wouldn’t pick up the phone if the Real Madrid legend tried to call him.
Zidane had been heavily mentioned in connection with the possibility of succeeding longtime France boss Didier Deschamps after the atrocious World Cup final loss to Argentina in Qatar, but the latter has since concluded a new three-and-a-half-year contract with the FFF to remain in the role until the summer of 2026.
“I know very well that Zidane was always on the radar. He had a lot of supporters, some were waiting for Deschamps to leave… But who can seriously blame Deschamps? Nobody,” La Graet told RMC.
“He (Zidane) does what he wants, it’s none of my business. I’ve never met him, we never considered parting with Didier. He can go wherever he wants, to a club. .. If Zidane tried to contact me? Certainly not, I wouldn’t even pick up the phone.
La Graet’s controversial comments sparked outrage in France, with criticism from all sides, including the country’s sports minister, Amélie Oudea-Castera, who called for an apology for what she described as a “shameful lack of respect”.
Another French politician, Pieyre-Alexandre Anglade, said French football “deserved more” as he hailed Zidane as a “monument of French football and sport” loved by all people in the country.
Those defending Zidane now include current Les Bleus superstar and World Cup winner Mbappe, who tweeted to his 11.3 million followers on Sunday night: “Zidane is France, we don’t disrespect to legend like that.”