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Tuesday, January 31, 2023

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Football, rugby, handball, French sport surrounded by business and controversy

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It is an unprecedented crisis that has been going through the French Football Federation for several weeks and which bears the name of its president, Noël Le Graët. Accustomed to polemics and sound bites, the 81-year-old leader plunged the FFF into a whirlwind that never ends.

Targeted by an audit mission launched several weeks ago by the Minister of Sports Amélie Oudéa-Castéra, he is now the subject of a judicial investigation for sexual and moral harassment. This investigation follows the report for “sexist contempt” made by the auditors charged by the Ministry of Sports to clarify the dysfunctions within the body.

Testimony of Sonia Souid

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According to the newspaper Le Monde, this report follows testimony published in the press by Sonia Souid, the agent of several French internationals, denouncing the insistent attitude of Le Graët. Under pressure since the release of a journalistic investigation in September 2022, evoking possible sexist behavior, the minister also decided to launch this audit after the leader’s controversial remarks on Zinedine Zidane which led to his withdrawal from the Federation. .

Since then, Noël Le Graët has refused to resign. The interim audit report is expected on Monday.


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Nine months before the World Cup organized in France, rugby, through two of its most important figures, is looking bad. The president of the French Federation Bernard Laporte was condemned by justice on December 13, 2022, alongside businessman Mohed Altrad, for a pact of corruption linked in particular to the sponsorship of the jersey of the France team. After appealing his two-year suspended prison sentence, the 58-year-old former scrum-half tried in vain to stay in office, finally accepting an almost total withdrawal, but retaining its title stripped of all substance.

Barely launched the referendum to designate a delegate president, he was placed in police custody for a few hours on Tuesday in a case of money laundering of aggravated tax evasion in a separate case from that for which he was convicted. According to Me Thierry Nesa, his tax adviser, it would be “a donation granted more than twelve years ago. The other strong man of French rugby, Claude Atcher, was landed in October from the head of the organizing committee of the Mondial-2023 for its managerial practices and is the subject of a judicial investigation.


An explosion. While the France team is playing its World Cup in Poland, French handball woke up in shock on Wednesday. Bruno Martini, former goalkeeper for the France team, world champion and president of the National League, was sentenced to a one-year suspended prison sentence, a fine of 2,500 euros and a five-year ban on practicing football. activity involving contact with minors, for corruption of minors and recording of child pornography images.

Targeted by an investigation since 2020 after the complaint of a 13-year-old teenager, Bruno Martini, 52, accepted the conviction on Wednesday and admitted the facts. In the aftermath, he resigned as NHL president.


For months, the National Olympic and Sports Committee (Cnosf) has been torn apart. Its president, Brigitte Henriques, elected in June 2021, filed a complaint for “psychological violence” against her ex-right arm Didier Séminet, who himself took legal action for “slanderous denunciation” and “breach of trust”. This confrontation seems to have split the Olympic body as the Olympics are fast approaching.

After two months of rest following this conflict, the former vice-president of the FFF was singled out when she returned to business in mid-December by an internal audit on certain expenses, and reimbursed a little more than 4,000 euros to the Olympic body.

Source: Europe1

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