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Diskussion um Zidane: Mbappé erneut auf Konfrontationskurs mit Verbandschef

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Status: 09.01.2023 09:40 a.m

Kylian Mbappé has demanded more respect for Zinedine Zidane and is thus confronting the French association president.

“Zidane is France, we don’t treat this legend so disrespectfully,” Mbappe wrote on Twitter. Zidane was considered a potential successor to the post of France national coach if Didier Deschamps’ contract had not been extended. Zidane has been without a job since leaving Real Madrid in the summer of 2021.

Noel Le Graët, president of the FFF association, claimed in a radio interview that he was not interested in a phone call with Zinedine Zidane before the contract extension with national coach Didier Deschamps.

Zinedine Zidane was considered a possible successor to Didier Deschamps.

Le Graët: “I wouldn’t even have answered the phone”

Le Graët had replied when asked if Zidane had called him to express his interest in Deschamps’ job: “I wouldn’t even have answered the phone. What should I have said to him? ‘Hello, don’t worry, find one other club. I’ve just agreed on a contract with Didier.'” Deschamps had extended his contract until 2026 on Saturday almost three weeks after the final defeat at the World Cup in Qatar against Argentina. “He can do what he wants, that doesn’t concern me,” said Le Graët: “I’ve never met him and we never thought about separating from Didier.”

Noel Le Graët (right) with national coach Didier Deschamps

Sports Minister Oueda-Castera spoke of a “shameful lack of respect” and called on Le Graët to apologize to the “legend of football and sport”.

Mbappé and Le Graët already in dispute after the EM

In 2021, France lost to Switzerland in the round of 16 at the European Championship, Kylian Mbappé failed in the decisive attempt on penalties. “He said that we as an association did not protect him enough against criticism on social networks after the missed penalty,” said Le Graët at the time. “We talked for five minutes in my office. He was angry and didn’t want to play for France anymore. But obviously he didn’t mean it.” He did not name racist insults against French players as a problem. “There is little or no racism in football,” said Le Graët.

After his missed penalty in the round of 16, Kylian Mbappé was racially insulted on the Internet.

He explained to Le Graët that the frustration in the national team after the European Championship was about racism, not about the missed penalty. “But he said there was no racism,” Mbappé wrote on Twitter at the time.

Le Graët: Powerful functionary with scandals

Le Graët was repeatedly criticized. Before downplaying the racist insults in 2021, he relativized homophobic chants and banners in stadiums in 2019. “Football games should only be interrupted for racist incidents or security concerns,” he said at the time. Homophobic statements are not comparable. French government officials contradicted him.

In 2022, employees of the French federation reported in the magazine So Foot about sexual harassment by Le Graët, who denied the allegations. Other employees spoke of a “poisoned working atmosphere” in the association, and the French Ministry of Sport announced an investigation. Confronted with the dilapidated accommodation of guest workers who prepared France’s team hotel for the World Cup in Qatar, Le Graët said: “It’s not unsolvable, there are a few brushstrokes missing.”

Noel Le Graët is said to have sent text messages with sexual innuendos to employees.

The 81-year-old Le Graët has been President of the FFF since 2011. In 2019, following the resignation of the then DFB President Reinhard Grindel, he became one of the European representatives on the FIFA Council. On 5 April 2023, Portuguese representative Fernando Gomes will be running against him for a place on the FIFA panel at the UEFA Congress.

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