No man disrespects Zidane: French football boss Le Graët says sorry

AP - Christophe Ena

French football chief Noël Le Graët apologised on Monday for what he conceded were clumsy comments about the former France international Zinedine Zidane and his possible appointment as boss of the France national team in the wake of their defeat to Argentina in the World Cup final last month.

During an interview with the French broadcaster RMC on Sunday, Le Graët, who heads the French Football Federation (FFF), responded arrogantly when asked if Zidane had contacted the organisation about replacing France team coach Didier Deschamps.

"I wouldn't even have taken his call on the phone," said Le Graët. "To tell him what? 'Hello sir, don't worry, look for another club, I just agreed a contract with Didier.'"

The haughty attitude brought a wave of condemnation towards 81-year-old Le Graët.

Kylian Mbappé, who has had run-ins with Le Graët over publicity photo shoots while on France duty, tweeted his dismay.

"Zidane is France, we don't disrespect the legend like that," said the Paris Saint-Germain striker.

French sports minister Amelie Oudea-Castera demanded an apology from Le Graët for the comments which she said showed a "shameful lack of respect".

Misunderstanding

Within 24 hours, Le Graët bowed to the pressure.


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