Paris, Jan 9, (dpa/GNA) – French Football Federation (FFF) president, Noel le Graet, has come under heavy fire over statements directed at the nation’s football great, Zinedine Zidane.
The 1998 World Cup winner and former Real Madrid coach Zidane, had been considered a candidate for the France national team job, but the FFF said Saturday that Didier Deschamps, has renewed until 2026.
Le Graet attacked Zidane in an interview with broadcasters RMC Sport Sunday, when asked about a possible engagement of Zidane as Brazil coach, now that the France job was out of reach.
“He can do what he wants to, it is none of my business,” Le Graet said, adding “I don’t give a toss” and that he wouldn’t answer the phone if Zidane called.
France star forward Kylian Mbappe, reacted upset as he tweeted “Zidane is France, you don’t disrespect the legend like that.”
Sport daily L’Equipe named Le Graet’s statements “unacceptable” in big letters on its front page on Monday, saying “Le Graet has become an issue of shame for French football.”
French sports minister Amelie Oudea-Castera, called on Le Graet to apologise to Zidane, as she spoke of “a shameful lack of respect, which offends us all, towards a legend of football and sport.
“A ‘president’ of the leading sports federation in France should not say that,” Oudea Castera tweeted.