French Football Federation President Noel Le Graet expressed “hope” on Saturday in Nice that the defending country’s national team will reach at least the semi-finals of the World Cup finals in Qatar at the end of this year.
“At least the quarter-finals, according to the federation, but I still want us to be in the semi-finals,” Le Graet said after the General Assembly of the French Federation, which set the World Cup quarter-finals as a goal in the World Cup. The same is true for the women’s team (in the European Cup in July) as it is for the men.
Le Graet confirmed during a press conference at the end of the General Assembly that he would meet with coach Didier Deschamps in Guingamp in July, but not to discuss extending his contract, which expires after the World Cup in Qatar (from November 21 to December 18).
“Didier will come to see me in Guingamp, where I feel very comfortable,” he said. “I like to spend a day with him from time to time. We will meet each other in July, before preparing for the World Cup. We will take a good look at things to see how the federation can be more involved in order to help (in Qatar), I will not discuss any extension with him.
He added that if he “does not justify the recent performances” of the team (two defeats against Denmark 1-2 and Croatia 0-1 and draws with Austria and Croatia with one result 1-1) in the European Nations League this June, he admits that “for all the major countries, there are Many of the players who played a lot of matches this season, were not at the level of the tournament.”
“The issue of fatigue, injury and desire also contributed to these disappointing results,” he added, before criticizing the International Federation (FIFA) and the European Football Association (UEFA).
“Quite frankly, it would be good if UEFA and FIFA would always adjust the schedules. There are a lot of matches at the end of the domestic leagues, it’s not very reasonable,” he said, stressing that he was counting on the two remaining matches in September to “get out of that last place” in the Nations League. . In order not to lose money, we must not go down to the second level.
France ceded the title it had achieved in the second edition of the European competition, after losing to Croatia 0-1 in the fourth round of the first group competitions. Third (5 points).
And France put itself in the trap of defending its chances of staying in the first level because the last ranked person is relegated to the second level.
Regarding the possibility of seeing Zinedine Zidane at the helm of the technical management of the French national team, succeeding Deschamps, the president replied: “You count away! We may win the World Cup! In this case, Didier Deschamps will return to Guingamp to spend the day with me.”
On the other hand, Le Graet said that he had met international star Kylian Mbappe and that there would be no “change” to the image rights of France’s players before the 2022 World Cup.
“The situation calmed down. I saw Mbappe alone. Then Mbappe in Clairefontaine, in a group I talked to. Then I saw all the players. The bottom line is that there is no change. Until at least the World Cup. There will be complete equality for all players.”
“There is no problem, there is no opposition. On the contrary, it was very friendly. With him (Mbappe) first, then the veterans (captain Hugo Lloris, defender Raphael Varane, midfielder N’Golo Kante and striker Antoine Griezmann).”
On the first of this month, Le Graet met a delegation of national team players, including Mbappe, who hopes to re-discuss the agreement related to the exploitation of image rights for international players.
Disagreements between the French Football Federation and the Paris Saint-Germain striker and those close to him on this issue have led to some media battles since last March.