Noël Le Graët, president of the French football federation, resigned on Tuesday after a government oversight found it no longer had the legitimacy to lead because of its treatment and management style against women.
Le Graët, 81, is under criminal investigation for alleged sexual and moral harassment. He had already resigned from his post until the audit findings were reviewed by the federation executive committee.
He submitted his resignation at a board meeting on Tuesday, according to a statement from the federation.
The statement said that vice president Philippe Diallo will carry out Le Graët’s duties on an interim basis until June 2023.
Amid growing criticism of Le Graët last year, French sports minister Amélie Oudéa-Castéra ordered an inspection last September.
The final report, based on more than 100 interviews and analysis of various documents, concluded last month that Le Graët’s behavior towards women was inappropriate and highlighted other dysfunctions in the federation. She also noted that her policy against gender-based and sexual violence was “neither effective nor efficient”.
As president of the football association since 2011, the federation praised Le Graët’s “outstanding sporting and economic results”. She reiterated her “strong commitment to gender-based and sexual violence” and sought to distance herself from control.
Le Graët has a strong relationship with FIFA president Gianni Infantino and will continue to work at FIFA’s office in Paris despite his resignation.
Infantino appointed Le Graët in January 2022 as his personal delegate to FIFA’s satellite office in Paris, which includes liaison with member federations in Europe and Africa.
“The French Football Association is doing a remarkable job,” Infantino said when announcing the appointment last year, and I often have the opportunity to speak with Noël Le Graët here to better understand how the example set in France can support football development projects. a global foundation.”
Le Graët is also a candidate to retain an annual €235,000 seat on FIFA’s board of directors, elected by UEFA member federations.
Despite the controversy surrounding the French football establishment, Le Graët did not openly withdraw his candidacy in a vote at the UEFA Congress to be held on April 5 in Lisbon, Portugal. His planned opponent is Fernando Gomes, a UEFA vice-president from Portugal.