Kylian Mbappe has accused French Football Federation president Noel Le Graet of ignoring the fact that racism was the real reason he considered quitting international duty last year.
The 23-year-old faced a barrage of criticism after missing the decisive penalty in France’s shootout defeat to Switzerland in the round of 16 at Euro 2020.
In the aftermath of the tournament, there were some suggestions that Mbappe would pull himself out of contention for Les Bleus because of the abuse.
Kylian Mbappe was prepared to quit the France team after his decisive Euro 2020 penalty miss
The ace’s spot-kick was saved by Switzerland’s Yann Sommer, sending Les Bleus crashing out
Le Graet appeared to confirm this in an interview with Le Journal Du Dimanche, but Mbappe has hit back at the federation’s president for missing out the key detail that his grievance was specifically to do with racism.
‘I met with him after the Euros, he felt the Federation had not defended him after his missed penalty and the criticism on the networks,’ Le Graet said.
‘We met for five minutes in my office. He was angry, he didn’t want to play for the French team any more – which he obviously didn’t mean.
‘You know how it is, he’s a winner, he was very frustrated, like all of us, by the elimination. He’s so media-friendly. He’s a great guy, much more collective than people think.’
FFF president Noel Le Graet confirmed that Mbappe wanted to pull out of representing France
But the forward says his gripe was specifically to do with racism, which Le Graet missed out
Quoting Le Graet’s comments on Twitter, Mbappe wrote: ‘I explained to him well that above all else it was in relation to racism, NOT the penalty.
‘However, he thought that there hadn’t been any racism…’
The PSG star’s claims come after FIFA published their report into social media abuse during Euro 2020 and this year’s AFCON.
The findings showed that homophobic and racist slurs made up nearly 80 per cent of the abuse that was identified.
Le Graet made headlines in 2020 when he declared that racism ‘does not exist’ in football
Meanwhile, it is not the first time that Le Graet has come under fire for his views after declaring that racism ‘does not exist’ in football in 2020.
‘Racism in France … in a whole match there may be some discrepancies, but we have less than one percent of difficulties today,’ Le Graet told French TV channel BFM.
‘When a black guy, forgive me, scores a goal, the whole stadium is standing. So quite frankly, the phenomenon of racism in sport, and in football in particular, does not exist, or [it is] little.’