The UNFP published a scathing press release on Tuesday after the revelations of the magazine So Foot on the dysfunctions within the French Football Federation. The players’ union is counting on the Minister of Sports Amélie Oudéa-Castera to reframe Noël Le Graët, the president of the FFF.
The UNFP has chosen not to take gloves when it comes to reacting to the scandal which is shaking the French Football Federation. The players’ union published an incendiary press release on Tuesday after the revelations of the magazine So Foot on the dysfunctions within the FFF. With cases of sexual harassment, alcohol-related problems, clan wars and recurring tensions during management committees.
Faced with the extent of the discomfort, Amélie Oudéa-Castera has already spoken on the phone with Noël Le Graët, himself accused of having sent sexist messages to certain employees, in order to have his version of the facts. But the Minister of Sports (who has not yet publicly commented on the case) wanted to go further by summoning the president of the federation and its general manager Florence Hardouin this Friday. An appointment that the UNFP will scrutinize very closely. By demanding maximum firmness.
“The Federation fails in its obligations”
“The UNFP begins to hope that the minister will “take advantage” of the opportunity to remind Noël Le Graët that a club and its general manager have been held liable over the past two years for acts constituting moral harassment. against a professional footballer, without having been sanctioned by the sports authorities, despite the formal request sent by the former Minister of Sports, Roxana Maracineanu…”, can we read in the press release from the union.
“However, this is part of the public service mission incumbent on the FFF, this is written in its statutes (article 1), recalled in the Football Ethics Charter (article 5), but the Federation is failing in this area to its obligations, to its duty to set an example, which is to protect its employees and, more broadly, all of its licensees, including the players of course, continues the text. And when acts of harassment are proven, all the more so. If they are judged and condemned, it is then up to him to pronounce sufficiently exemplary sanctions to discourage all those who, in French football, would like to make fun of the values of our sport and would have no respect for the human person. .”
Inaction, contempt and complacency
The UNFP also condemns “the silence of the FFF”, “its contempt” for the victims and the “assumed impunity” enjoyed by certain culprits. More generally, the union is angry with the “inaction” of the federation in the face of “practices unworthy of French football which they also put in danger”.
Its statement concludes: “No internal investigation, no attempt at mediation and – since the letter from Roxana Maracineanu, last spring, asking the LFP and therefore the FFF to take up cases of harassment, to protect the persecuted and to punish the culprits – no remarks, no calls to order from the Ministry of Sports, yet the control body for the management of a federation. Until this Friday?
The future of Le Graët in dotted lines
Pending the outcome of this meeting, during which other topics must also be discussed, Noël Le Graët finds himself in a delicate situation. As revealed by RMC Sport, the president of the FFF, in office since 2011, may not complete his current mandate. Aged 80, he has been showing signs of physical fatigue for several months. A departure next January, after the 2022 World Cup, cannot be ruled out. The course of the Blues in Qatar will perhaps influence his near future. Unless the revelations of So Foot precipitate his decision …