FFF: Noël Le Graët singled out by the audit mission, what will now happen?
After the report of the audit mission targeting the current president of the French Football Federation, neither the Ministry of Sports, in the name of the autonomy of the federations, nor the members of the executive committee of the FFF (body that it presides), do not have the power to make Noël Le Graët leave against his will. However, he continues to “cling to a power that has been lost”, notes Éric Borghini, a member of the Comex who called on him to resign on January 11.
If he resigns, the statutes provide that the current vice-president, Philippe Diallo, will take over until the next federal assembly in June. The Comex will then designate a personality within it, who must receive the approval of the federal assembly, to lead the FFF until the end of the current mandate, in December 2024. In the event of the status quo, the future of Le Graët will be at the heart of an extraordinary executive committee convened on February 28.
Does he still have support?
By fixing this crucial meeting at the end of February, the 81-year-old leader hopes to convince his running mate that he is still the man for the job. “He wants to meet us all individually, or in twos or threes maximum. But why? To divide us, try to convince us to change our minds, play the sensitive chord. It’s not very dignified”, denounces Éric Borghini.
According to him, Le Graët has lost the support of its Comex, including the most listened to personalities, and also that of the representatives of amateur football. “That’s where he’s off the ground, he’s no longer in touch with the reality of federal football,” he said.
If he doesn’t resign, what happens?
To provoke the departure of Le Graët, the Comex can decide to scuttle itself in order to provoke a new election. This requires that at least seven members (out of 14) resign, a now credible hypothesis. If the quota is not reached, two levers can be activated as a last resort.
On the one hand, there may be a referral to the High Authority of Football (HAF), the management control body of the FFF, in order to convene a general meeting of dismissal. On the other hand, the National Ethics Committee (CNE) can bring Le Graët before the disciplinary committee with a view to expulsion. The regulations provide for it to sanction “any behavior contrary to morality, ethics or damaging the honor, image or consideration of the FFF (…) or, more generally, of French football”.
“I would much prefer resignation to procedures that would kick him out. He would go out the back door even more, and it is already narrow. It would ruin everything he has done for French football and we won’t be talking about him in a few months or years than by the negative aspect”, comments the president of the CNE, Patrick Anton.
What about Florence Hardouin?
Less exposed to the media than that of Le Graët, the future of the general manager Florence Hardouin nevertheless risks being decided before that of its president. Laid off as a precaution since January 11, the DG is summoned on February 21 to an interview prior to dismissal, after a decade at the helm.
The audit does not spare the former fencer. She is “no longer able to carry out the missions which are hers”, in particular because of a “brutal management” (but “not harassing”), of a “humiliating behavior” and of a “certain passivity in the face of the sexist and violent atmosphere that reigned within the steering committee until 2020”. Weakened by a heart attack following her layoff, Hardouin defended herself through the voice of a spokeswoman, Dominique Rouch, who said she was the victim of a “media and internal cabal” and “serious and false” accusations. “.
The DG also told the inspectors to have “suffered from the inappropriate behavior” of Le Graët: “She was the victim of sexual and moral harassment, humiliation in public and in private”, develops Dominique Rouch, who reports alleged insults from the directing towards his director, as well as insistent invitations to dinner.