Noel Le Graet is facing pressure to leave his FFF post after Kylian Mbappe and others voiced outrage over his remarks about Zinedine Zidane.
Kylian Mbappe spoke from the heart when defending Zinedine Zidane from sniping by French Football Federation chief Noel Le Graet, according to Paris Saint-Germain boss Christophe Galtier.
Le Graet is facing calls to step down as FFF president after coming under fire for a bizarre comment about France great Zidane and allegations about his leadership.
Eighty-one-year-old Le Graet told RMC that he “didn’t throw away” where the 1998 World Cup winner went in his next coaching job, adding that he would not pick up the phone from the former midfielder.
Former Real Madrid head coach Zidane was seen as a likely candidate for the France post should coach Didier Deschamps decide to leave after the recent World Cup in Qatar.
Instead, it was announced that Deschamps would stay until the 2026 World Cup and sign a new contract.
France star striker Mbappe gave the federation president a clear and strong rebuke when he tweeted: “Zidane is France, we don’t disrespect such a legend…”
While Galtier did not wish to heap further criticism on Le Graet, the PSG head coach also made it clear that he did not agree with the veteran federation boss’s comments either and understood why Mbappe took his stance.
“Zinedine Zidane deserves everyone’s respect,” Galtier told PSG’s press conference on Tuesday.
“He was an extraordinary player for the French team and a great coach who won the Champions League three times.
“The words that were spoken caused a strong reaction. I will not comment on those words. I will simply say that Zinedine Zidane deserves enormous respect from everyone.”
Galtier added: “Kylian Mbappe is a great person. I haven’t spoken to him about it. It’s outside the context of PSG.”
“He expressed himself in his own way with his heart, so he said it, and it doesn’t surprise me that Kylian Mbappe wanted to defend Zinedine Zidane. I know he has huge respect for Zinedine Zidane.”
French sports minister Amelie Oude-Caster called for change at the top of the FFF, while senior agent Sonia Souid accused Le Graet of inappropriate behaviour.
In an interview with RMC, Souid outlined how she believed that in their dealings from 2013 to 2017, Le Graet saw her as the object of his sexual desire.
Le Graet and the FFF did not immediately respond to Souido’s allegations.