Embattled French football boss Le Graët faces sexual harassment probe

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The head of the French Football Federation Noël Le Graët has been placed under investigation for sexual harassment, prosecutors told AFP on Tuesday, days after he was suspended from his duties amid an escalating row sparked by derogatory comments he made about French football legend Zinedine Zidane.

The probe was opened on Monday after football agent Sonia Souid made accusations against Le Graët in an affair that has rocked French football just weeks after the national team, Les Bleus, were beaten by Argentina in the World Cup final.

Le Graët, who has previously denied allegations of sexual harassment during an audit commissioned by the sports ministry, last week “took a step back” from his duties, with Philippe Diallo acting as interim head of the French Football Federation (FFF).

Le Graët was not immediately available for comment on Tuesday. 

The longtime FFF chief was forced to apologise to France great Zinedine Zidane last week for remarks about the former Real Madrid coach which drew the ire of politicians and players, including PSG star Kylian Mbappé.

When asked if Zidane, a World Cup winner with France in 1998 and one of the favourites to coach Les Bleus, would now manage Brazil’s national team instead, Le Graët told RMC: “I don’t give a damn, he can go wherever he wants.”

(FRANCE 24 with AFP, Reuters)

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