The president of the French Football Federation (FFF) has been suspended following an extraordinary meeting of the organisation’s executive committee.
Noel Le Graet, 81, has been under fire since the weekend after he said he wouldn’t pick up the phone if Zinedine Zidane called him about managing the France squad.
Vice-President Philippe Diallo has been named interim president, according to BFM television.
When asked what he would do if the World Cup-winning French footballing legend was offered the job in Brazil, Le Graet replied: “I don’t care, he can go wherever he wants. “
He added: “He [Zidane] does what he wants; These are not my things. I never met him, we never considered parting with Didier [Deschamps]. He can go wherever he wants, to a club… If Zidane tries to contact me? Certainly not, I wouldn’t even pick up the phone.”
Zidane was considered a hero after the 1998 World Cup final, which France won by beating Brazil 3-0 at home, in which the striker scored twice and was man of the match .
The row comes after a successful spell for the French national team under Deschamps, who captained the 1998 cup-winning side, which saw the nation reach the final of the last two World Cups – one it has won in 2018 and one which they lost on penalties at the end of last year.
Le Graet’s comments drew criticism across France with PSG star Kylian Mbappe and President Emmanuel Macron floundering in the row.
The president of the FFF has already faced accusations of sexual harassment, which he denies, and the organization is the subject of an investigation ordered by the Minister of Sports Amélie Oudéa-Castéra.