Noël Le Graët has stepped down as FFF President ©Getty Images

Noël Le Graët is "taking a step back" as the President of the French Football Federation (FFF) days after making dismissive comments about World Cup winner and French football great Zinedine Zidane.

Graët is set to be replaced by vice-president Philippe Diallo and has been named acting interim chairman.

The 81-year-old administrator apologised to 1998 FIFA World Cup winner and former national team captain Zidane, admitting that his comments were "clumsy".

Le Graët, who has landed in trouble about his private conduct, stepped down following a meeting with the FFF Executive Committee, pending the findings of an ongoing investigation by the Ministry of Sports.

General manager Florence Hardouin was also removed by the Committee.

"Noel Le Graët, in agreement with the executive committee of the FFF meeting today in Paris, has chosen to withdraw from his duties as president of the Federation until the final communication of the audit carried out by the Ministry of Sports, and awaiting its analysis by the Comex (executive committee) of the FFF," a statement from the national football body read.

"The Comex of the FFF has also decided to lay off Florence Hardouin, general manager of the FFF, as a precautionary measure.

"As of today, Philippe Diallo, deputy vice-president of the FFF, will act as interim manager of these two functions."

Zidane was tipped to replace Didier Deschamps as the new coach of the national team before the latter extended his stay.

Speaking about Zidane, who won the UEFA Champions League three times in a row with Real Madrid, Le Graët told RMC: "I would be surprised if he went there (to Brazil).

"But he does what he wants, that's none of my business. […]

"Would it hurt my heart for him to go there?

"Me, I have nothing to shake.

"He can go where he wants!

"He can go where he wants, in a big club, a selection, I hardly believe it as far as he is concerned.

"If Zidane tried to reach me?

"Certainly not, I wouldn't even have taken him on the phone."

He later apologised and said that his comments were misunderstood.

The comments were criticised widely in France with star forward Kylian Mbappé and French Sports Minister Amélie Oudéa-Castéra expressing themselves on social media.