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French football chief ‘very careful’ over Deschamps threat


Paris (AFP) – French football federation president Noel Le Graet said he was adopting a “very careful” approach after a photoshopped image of national team coach Didier Deschamps emerged accompanied by threats from Islamic State sympathisers.

France’s Interior Minister Gerard Collomb “is taking care of it very directly and therefore I can’t provide any more information. In any event we are very careful with what’s been said,” Le Graet told a press conference Tuesday.

The French federation chief, who announced Deschamps had agreed to extend his contract until 2020, was reacting to a mocked-up picture depicting the former World Cup winner published by the pro-Islamic State Wafa Media Foundation.

According to experts, there is no proven and authenticated link between groups such as the Wafa Foundation and IS or its official communication outlets.

Dozens of threats against events such as the World Cup, which takes place from June 14 to July 15 next year in Russia, are posted daily on social networks, including some against football stars.

The image of Deschamps, detected by the US-based monitor SITE Intelligence Group on October 27, shows him chained up in an orange prison jumpsuit and being threatened with a gun.

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