Sunday, December 3, 2023

“Telling someone that they have a pretty dress? For me it’s not sexual harassment” proclaims Noël Le Graët

He has not appeared in the media since his departure from the FFF. Although he still holds a position within Fifa in a representative role, particularly in Africa, Noël Le Graët has mainly moved away from the world of football and is enjoying his region and his family. But this Tuesday, November 7, the former president of the FFF was questioned by the parliamentary committee of the National Assembly, a week after Didier Deschamps in order to investigate operational failures within the federations. Questioned on several subjects, Noël Le Graët notably returned to the accusations of sexual harassment. “Times have changed. It’s no longer appropriate to tell someone that they have a pretty dress. I’m 82 years old and you have to be more careful than before about what you say. For me, “It’s not sexual harassment. For you, maybe,” he said.

Homophobia, racism… His explanations

Asked about cases of racism and homophobia, Noël Le Graët defended himself after clumsy remarks. “At the stadium, we don’t really realize the scope of these words. I took a bar of soap from my daughter then I visited centers that fight against homophobia. I felt sad and awkward. People who shout in the stands are not homophobic, they are stupid.

Questioned again about homophobia a few minutes later, Noël Le Graët explained, according to him, that there was less of this kind of problem in the stadium than in everyday life. “I never said that there were no problems, but that there were perhaps fewer than in society. In the stadium I saw things. I gave instructions almost everywhere in our services. I came to the FFF for three days as a volunteer, I have teams better trained than me to work on these important issues. I regret having said that and I changed after being in associations. People who shout at the stadium are not homophobic, they are stupid.”

On racism, the former president of Guingamp highlighted his new role at Fifa to show his commitment against racism. “I have always been close to Africa. I think I was one of the men so that the little ones could be together in football schools. I have, thanks to Fifa, an African function. I was a few days ago in Morocco. I have been to Tunisia. I have been to Algeria several times. I purely and simply reject the racist side. I would not stop a match for homophobia but perhaps for racism.


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