The former president of the French Football Federation, Claude Simonet, died in the night from Monday to Tuesday in Nantes at the age of 92, announced Wednesday the newspaper Ouest-France. Amateur player of FC Nantes in the 1950s, he had taken the head of the FFF in early 1994 in a difficult context, after the resignation of Jean Fournet-Fayard, weakened by the tragedy of Furiani, the OM-VA affair and the fatal France-Bulgaria. It will remain so until 2005.
The peak and then the fall
Simonet was the strongman of French football at the time of victories at the 1998 World Cup and Euro 2000. It was he who had organized the recovery after the non-qualification for the 1994 World Cup, giving in particular Gérard Darmon, met in Nantes when he was vice-president of the club, the role of "great silversmith of football", as told by Libération in 2002. The results of Aimé Jacquet's Blues had done the rest.
His end of reign, however, was more complicated. The problems began after the fiasco of the 2002 World Cup. It is the famous bottle of romanée-conti at 4,800 euros put on the account of the Fed on the evening of the elimination, then the prosecution for having masked a hole of 13.9 million euros at the end of the following season. He was sentenced in 2007 to a six-month suspended prison sentence and a fine of 10,000 euros by the Paris Criminal Court.
- FC Nantes