The French Football Federation (FFF) and its president, Noël Le Graët, contradict each other. Contrary to what the latter had announced during the morning of Monday, December 19, a gathering of players from the France team in Paris must be organized the day after the defeat of the Blues against Argentina in the final of the World Cup in Qatar, according to a message sent by the FFF to journalists and relayed by Agence France-Presse (AFP).
“Les Bleus are returning to France today on flight AF 4001 which will take off from Doha around 2:30 p.m. local time and arrive around 7:30 p.m. French time at [l’aéroport Roissy – Charles-de-Gaulle]. They will then greet their audience at Place de la Concorde, in Paris, around 8:30 p.m. had also confirmed the federation to Parisian, Earlier in the day. Questioned by AFP, the police headquarters could not confirm this information.
Monday morning, Noël Le Graët had nevertheless canceled, at the microphone of BFM-TV, a possible gathering. “The players are in a hurry to go home. There is no descent from the Champs-Elysées, and the departure of the players is planned after landing,” he had explained. “When we don’t win, we don’t have the mood, in any case they, the mood to go for a walk on the Champs or elsewhere, added the manager. They have been gone for over a month and have given satisfaction. They want to go home as soon as possible.” he added again.
“They want to go and thank their supporters”
This confusion in the communication of the authorities comes after the Minister of Sports, Amélie Oudéa-Castéra, had affirmed in the morning of France inter – with caution – that the Blues were no doubt going to greet, on their return from Doha, their supporters at Place de la Concorde in Paris – as had been done in 2006 after the World Cup final lost against Italy, also on penalties ( 5-3).
“They want to go and thank their supporters, to spend this time at Place de la Concorde, which is the place they have chosen a priori with the French Football Federation […]. This is the latest info I have, the scripts are being confirmed […]. “They didn’t want parades on the Champs, that’s the info we have at this stage. »
At 80, Noël Le Graët, in office since 2011 and re-elected in 2021, had found himself at the heart of a turmoil since the revelations of the monthly So Foot, which points to many dysfunctions within the FFF, and in particular the sending of sexual SMS to employees by the president, according to anonymous testimonies. His place within the federation had been weakened.
While his fourth term runs until 2024, he had been asked about an early departure after the World Cup in Qatar. “I have no intention of stopping at all, except for illness or failure in Qatar, but that’s life. I am elected until 2024 and I want to continue”, he had replied.