Has the Minister of Sports exceeded her role?

Has the Minister of Sports exceeded her role?

He is resisting. The now ex-president of the French Football Federation (FFF), Noël Le Graët, who resigned on Tuesday February 28, accuses the Minister of Sports, Amélie Oudéa-Castéra, of having “overstepped” her role in the process that led to her forced resignation and now wishes to file a defamation suit against her.

War of words between Le Graët and Oudéa-Castéra

In an interview given to several dailies, Noël Le Graët denounces a “cabal operated against him”,“a lot of political interference” and claims that he “will challenge before the administrative court” the report of which its management was the subject. His lawyer Thierry Marembert announced that his client would ask “cancellation” of the audit report before the administrative court, as well as a complaint for “defamation” against the sports minister.

“I find it distressing, I never insulted anyone, I remained polite, I never accused him of harassment”, replied the person concerned. “This defense strategy does not fool many people. » Guest of RTL Wednesday 1is March, Amélie Oudéa-Castéra explained again that the inspection mission evoked “Remarks and text messages from Mr. Le Graët, ambiguous for some and clearly sexual in nature for others. “It is the prosecutor who has decided to open an investigation for acts of moral and sexual harassment”, she justified herself.

“We did a thorough job over four months, respecting the contradictions of each of the parties”, explained the minister. “I will not allow the quality of the work that has been done to be denigrated. » For their part, the lawyers of Noël Le Graët wish to challenge the report of the General Inspectorate for Education, Sport and Research (IGESR) which was delivered in mid-February, considering that the inspectors of the IGESR “were manipulated, forced by their minister”.

Patrick Kanner, former sports minister: “the minister is within her rights”

Behind the accusations of the defense of Noël Le Graët, a question: has the Minister of Sports exceeded his prerogatives? For Senator Patrick Kanner, himself Minister of Sports from 2014 to 2017, “There is an obvious relationship of subordination between the federations and the ministry. In each sports federation, you have a delegation of national and federal technical advisers. Ministry staff are present on a daily basis. “The sports code is very clear: the federations are autonomous but are attached in a form of supervision”he adds.

For the president of the socialist group in the Senate, “The Minister of Sports is within her rights in the triggering of operations. If the FFF is sovereign, the government has this right of inspection. » For Patrick Kanner, although very powerful, especially financially, the FFF has “accountability to its delegator: the State”.

The senator explains that he himself was “Faced with a case of inappropriate behavior concerning a federation president”, when he was in government. Without revealing the name, Patrick Kanner claims to have issued a report on the basis of article 40 of the code of criminal procedure. The latter imposes on any constituted authority, any officer or civil servant, in the exercise of his functions, to report crimes or misdemeanors of which he is aware.

On the case of Noël Le Graët, the latter explains that he wanted to maintain “peaceful relations with the presidents of federations”, when leading the Ministry of Sports. “I had a pretty good one with Noël Le Graëtconfides Patrick Kanner, but that was a while ago. Since then, there has been a lifting of omerta on certain subjects, in particular with the #MeToo effect and that’s good. »

As for the deposed president of the FFF, he obviously does not intend to retire. He told the newspaper The world his intention to bounce back to Fifa as ” right arm “ of President Gianni Infantino in Paris. A function he has held since January 2022, but in which he says he wants « s’invest ».

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