The president of the French Football Federation spoke on Monday about the busy news of recent weeks in an interview with “Ouest-France”.
Summer has been busy for Noël Le Graët. Between a disappointing Euro for the Blues, the Tokyo Olympics to forget, the incidents at Nice-Marseille, hot topics abound for the boss of French football. A brief overview of current events with the Breton leader who spoke to our colleagues from Ouest-France.
“It doesn’t matter.” For Noël Le Graët, the failure of the Blues at the Euro played out little. Ten minutes against Switzerland where France put its defense on hiatus. “At 3-1, they all thought they were qualified,” said Le Graët who “is not looking for a culprit” for all that. If the atmosphere within the Blues has sometimes been debated, it is commonplace according to the president of the “3F” which is already projecting towards Qatar. “The framework remains extraordinary, he explains in the daily newspaper of the West. The players have not lost their talent in such a short time.” On the other hand, Le Graët allows himself time to extend Didier Deschamps at the head of the Blues. This will be the case if France qualifies for the 2022 World Cup. “He told me he was disappointed with the Euro, but that he still had a strong motivation. Me too.”
Le Graët does not go four ways: “We are not going to tell stories, we were not very good on this one.” Faced with a fait accompli by French and foreign clubs who refused to release their players under the age of 21, coach Sylvain Ripoll was unable to take France’s best team to the Tokyo Olympics while the Blues had no More tasted at the Games since 1996. Logical sanction, the team did not pass the first round and conceded two severe defeats against Mexico and Japan.
“I am upset that we sent a very weakened team, said Le Graët. It is not the fault of those who were there, who gave the best of themselves.” With Paris 2024 in the sights, there is no question of ending up with the same refusals. Failing to obtain an international window during the Games with Fifa, the president of the federation will meet the boss of world football, Gianni Infantino, to promote the provision of at least two players under the age of 21 by club. Le Graët, who admits to knowing “barely half” of the players selected in the last list of Hopes, keeps his confidence in Sylvain Ripoll.
The other black point of the summer, it is the incidents which punctuated the meeting between Nice and Marseille at the Allianz Riviera eight days ago. “When I tell myself that we are fighting for there to be spectators in the stadiums… Today, in my position, I can only regret, but I can not say anything. I have to let the commissions work. ” Le Graët is bitter and asks, however, that the actors of this bad film be “severely” sanctioned. “The protection of players must be a priority”, he explains while slipping a small tackle to the prefect of the Alpes-Maritimes who should not “decide the number of suspension matches.”
The clearing of French football is Argentinian and is called Lionel Messi. Noël Le Graët welcomes the arrival of the world football star in Paris. “All the kids are talking about it, the TV channels are breaking out.” The brilliant Argentinian will give a boost to French football and highlight his flagship championship abroad. The only problem: the omnipotence of Paris Saint-Germain, which risks crushing the competition with its constellation of stars. “The others are fighting for second place,” recognizes the president of the FFF who hopes to see “a competitor” emerge from PSG in the near future. “It may come,” he concludes.
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