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09th Jan 2023

FFF President apologises for ‘clumsy’ Zidane remarks

Callum Boyle

Le Graët said the comments ‘do not reflect’ his views

French Football Federation (FFF) President Noël Le Graët has apologised for his comments on Zinedine Zidane.

During an interview with French radio, Le Graët said that he “would not even have taken his call” had Zidane rang to enquire about the French national team job.

Zidane had been heavily linked with the position before it was confirmed that Didier Deschamps had signed a new deal in the aftermath of France’s World Cup final defeat.

When asked if Zidane could go on to manage Brazil, he said: “I don’t give a damn, he can go wherever he wants” before saying his future is “none of his business”.

But the head of the FFF has since come out and apologised. On Monday he said: “I would like to present my personal apologies for these remarks which absolutely do not reflect my thoughts, nor my consideration for the player he was and the coach he has become.

“I admit that I made awkward remarks which created a misunderstanding. Zidane knows the immense esteem I have for him, like all French people.”

Le Graët was heavily criticised by several people, including Kylian Mbappé, who tweeted: “He said: “Zidane is France, we don’t disrespect the legend like that…”

Real Madrid also released a statement in which they said that the “remarks show a lack of respect for one of the most admired figures by football fans around the world” and that they wanted an “immediate correction”.

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