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'I made some clumsy remarks' - FFF president Le Graet apologises for Zidane France job snub jibe

22:25 EAT 09/01/2023
Noel Le Graet Zinedine Zidane
French football federation president Noel le Graet has apologised for dismissive comments made about Zinedine Zidane becoming national team manager.
  • Deschamp extended France contract on Saturday
  • Le Graet joked he would never hire Zidane
  • Has since apologised for "clumsy remarks"

WHAT HAPPENED? After it was announced on Saturday that Didier Deschamps would stay on at the helm of France until 2026, Le Graet ruled out Zidane ever getting the job, joking to RMC Sport that he "wouldn't even have picked up the phone" to the footballing icon. The 81-year-old has since spoken to the same station to apologise for the "misunderstanding" caused by what he labelled "clumsy remarks".

WHAT THEY SAID: "I would like to apologise for these remarks, which absolutely do not reflect my views nor my consideration for the player he was and the coach he has become," Le Graet told RMC Sport. "I gave an interview to RMC that I should not have given because they were looking for controversy by opposing Didier and Zinedine Zidane, two greats of French football. I admit that I made some clumsy remarks which created a misunderstanding."

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Le Graet's apology comes after his comments received widespread criticism. World Cup star Kylian Mbappe took to Twitter in disapproval, writing: "Zidane is France, we don't disrespect the legend like that." The following day, Zidane's former employers Real Madrid also weighed in, claiming that the FFF president's jibe was "inappropriate for someone holding such representation" and showed "a lack of respect for one of the most admired figures by football fans around the world".

IN THREE PHOTOS:

WHAT NEXT? With Le Graet offering a meek apology for his controversial comments, the case appears to be closed, although Zidane himself could still speak out on the matter.