Philippe Diallo, a son of Senegalese at the head of French football

Philippe Diallo, a son of Senegalese at the head of French football

Philippe Diallo, propelled to the interim head of the French Football Federation (FFF), is a shadow actor but a connoisseur of the mysteries of football for three decades.

unknown to the general public, Diallo59, led for almost 30 years (from 1992 to 2021) theUnion of Professional Football Clubs (UCPF), the employers’ association of professional clubs, and played an important role in particular in the reforms of player transfers, showing political skill.

This native of Saint-Nazaire, son of a Senegalese boxing championenters the “3F” by joining the list of Noel Le Graet during the re-election of the Breton leader in March 2021.

General treasurer within the executive committee (Comex) of the federation, he climbed the organizational chart by becoming deputy vice-president in December 2021, replacing Brigitte Henriqueselected head of the National Olympic Sports Committee (CNOSF).

Technocrat

“Diallo is a brilliant guy, close to professional football, he made a very good impression at the federal assemblies when he was treasurer”says a source close to the FFF.

This technocrat A graduate in public and business law, he also has international experience as a single judge at FIFA’s dispute resolution chamber since 2003. Since 2013, he has also been head of the Social Council of the Sports Movement (Cosmos), an employers’ organization bringing together several thousand structures (clubs, leagues, event organizers, etc.).

A sign of his influence behind the scenes, the name of Philippe Diallo came up several times in the press as a possible president of the professional football league (LFP), particularly in 2016 when electing the successor to Frederic Thiriez. Without this discreet man, who does not run the press, never officially applying.

“Pragmatic and political”

“He is very politically clever”greets a source close to the sports movement who recognizes him “an unequaled knowledge of files” and “a very fair understanding of the political workings”. While emphasizing “his extreme discretion, even his solitary nature, which can be perceived as a defect”.

For Frederic Jaillantformer journalist and communications officer for the LFP under the presidency of Thiriez, Diallo is “one of the lesser known figures in French football but without doubt one of the most powerful and influential. He is both pragmatic and political”.

“It will be an anti-Le Graët in communication”he adds. “His thing is not big words that will divide the world of football. He will speak little and, when he does, it will be when he has something to say.”

Weakened instance

In recent months, the Deputy Vice-President had endeavored to clear the many polemics surrounding the federation, announcing, for example, a reflection to create a compensation fund for victims of industrial accidents on the construction sites of the Mondial du Qatar.

Now at the head of the federation – at least – until the next executive committee, Diallo will have the task of stabilizing a weakened instance. “He has no relay, he will not be able to stay, he will just do the interim”however, judges another source close to the FFF.

Conversely, Frédéric Jaillant describes a man “ambitious by training and background”which will be difficult to dislodge. “Once he is in place, we will see that he is the right person in the right place, it will be obvious to everyone”according to him.