Noel Le Graet will continue to work for FIFA’s office in Paris despite standing down as French Football Federation president on Tuesday after months of allegations about his behaviour, federation members said.
Football’s world governing body did not confirm that 81-year-old Le Graet, who has faced allegations of sexual and psychological harassment, would continue to occupy a role which is already among his duties.
But several members of the FFF’s executive committee said after the meeting on Tuesday when Le Graet announced he was standing down from the federation after 11 years in charge that he would maintain his links with FIFA in the French capital.
One of them, Eric Borghini, said Le Graet had originally been given the job by FIFA president Gianni Infantino because of his “expertise”.
“The president was named to FIFA by Gianni Infantino. He is going to run the office in Paris. He was given the job because of his competence, his expertise and his experience,” Borghini said.
Vincent Labrune, president of the French Professional League (LFP) said Le Graet “is going to continue his career, he has a job starting with FIFA”.
Jean-Michel Aulas, the president of one of France’s biggest clubs, Lyon, said Infantino had “seized the opportunity to use Noel’s capabilities”.
Aulas said Zurich-based FIFA wanted to develop its presence in Paris, having opened an office in the French capital in 2021.
“If that means indirectly that it comes at a good time for Noel… it’s a good thing. In that respect, I got the impression he appreciated the outstretched hand from FIFA,” Aulas added.
A source with knowledge of the deal, speaking on condition of anonymity, said it had been decided that Le Graet would not be stripped of the FIFA role despite his resignation from the FFF.
It was revealed last month that Le Graet, whose mandate was due to run until 2024, was being investigated for sexual and psychological harassment following allegations made by a female football agent, Sonia Souid.
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