In a text sent by his lawyers, the 81-year-old leader is surprised to learn “through the press” the opening of an investigation for moral and sexual harassment and castigates the “numerous political interferences and pressures”.
Noël Le Graët, retired president of the French Football Federation,denies all accusations of moral or sexual harassment or any other criminal offenses“, in a press release to AFP on Tuesday, in response to the opening of an investigation.
In this text transmitted by his lawyers, the 81-year-old leader is surprised to learn “through the press” the opening of an investigation for moral and sexual harassment and castigates the “much interference and political pressurecame, according to him, from the Minister of Sports Amélie Oudéa-Castéra as part of the audit carried out by the ministry.
The boss of French football, in office since 2011, “denounces these repeated announcements in the press, which occur when the Inspection mission has not even submitted its provisional report“.
“In this administrative investigation, which is clearly incriminating, Mr. Le Graët had neither the opportunity to read the information concerning him, nor the opportunity to put forward his observations in defence, which is seriously prejudicial to the essential rights of defense and basic respect for the contradictory“, Supports the press release.
The investigation opened on Monday, confirmed to AFP on Tuesday by the Paris prosecutor’s office, was entrusted to the brigade for the repression of delinquency against the person (BRDP) following the report for “sexist outragecarried out, according to Le Monde, after the testimony of player agent Sonia Souid.
Ms. Souid’s statements were collected by auditors from the General Inspectorate for Education, Sport and Research (IGESR) charged by the Ministry of Sports with clarifying the numerous dysfunctions in terms of management within the FFF.
“Bravo for your courage, our audit will be worthy of it. See you soon“, had reacted on Twitter Minister Amélie Oudéa-Castéra after a first testimony of the agent with the daily L’Équipe and the media RMC Sport.
For the lawyers of Le Graët, “the independence of this administrative audit is seriously questioned in view of the numerous interferences and political pressures from the Minister of Sports and recently by the Minister Delegate for Equality between Women and Men“.
The resignation of the leader of the FFF, currently in withdrawal, “would be an extremely positive signal sent to all the victims“commented Minister Isabelle Lonvis-Rome on Monday on the Public Senate channel.
“These interventions do not respect the fundamental principles of separation of powers nor that of the presumption of innocence.“, claim his lawyers.