40 years of silence

For years Noël Le Graët, president of the French Football Federation, and other senior officials at the federation have been covering up multiple cases of sexual abuse, including abuse of underage players.

By Romain Molina

Noël Le Graët (81), the octogenerian president of the French FA, the FFF, has decided to sue French magazine So Foot for libel after it had published detailed allegations of sexual misconduct against him, allegations which were widely reported in France's media. 

So Foot published several text messages that Le Graët had sent to employees of the FFF, which included:

«Come to my place for dinner tonight.»

«I prefer blondes, so if you’re up to...»

«You’re quite pulpy, I would definitely put you in my bed.»

But his case is not isolated. It is in fact, as Josimar has found, only the latest in a long series of lurid allegations of sexual abuse and harassment within the FFF, many of which involve children, which the French FA has systematically tried to suppress.

“When something happens, you keep your mouth shut. That’s how it works.” A former board member of the FFF agreed to speak to Josimar on condition of anonymity. “Otherwise, I’m done. They’re too powerful. The second you speak about the abuse, you’re out of the game. It’s not only the FFF but also the LFP (professional football league), the clubs. I mean, did you see how many cases we have been facing in the last couple of years? What did we do to protect our kids?»

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