French Government denies interference in footballing affairs

July 1, 2010

The French Government has denied interfering in football matters after the game’s governing body, FIFA, had threatened to suspend the French Football Federation (FFF) over “political interference”.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy had ordered an investigation into the national team’s disastrous World Cup campaign in South Africa, but under FIFA guidelines, any governmental interference is strictly forbidden.

If these rules are breached, the national federations can face suspension from international football, or European club competition.

However, Luc Chatel, a French government spokesman, has denied FIFA’s allegations, saying: “There was never any question of the French Government interfering in the affairs of the French Football Federation.

“It is normal for members of parliament to try to find out exactly what happened because it is a topic that preoccupies French people.”