KEIR RADNEDGE in PARIS: French football federation president Noel Le Great delivered a thinly-disgusied put-down to his own state President, Emmanuel Macron, inĀ  welcoming all delegates to the annual congress of world governing body FIFA.

The previous evening Macron had irritated UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin and other Europea federation delegates by using his speech at the congress dinner to denounce a proposal to transform the Champions League into a largely closed competition.

Macron urged UEFA to abandon a concept being championed by top clubs’ organisation ECA to restructure the Champions League from 2024 in a manner which would secure the long-term presence of the continent’s giants.

Le Graet, who has just been appointed to the FIFA Council on behalf of UEFA, did not specifically name Macron in his welcome remarks. However the target of his comment was clear as he told congress: “No decisions are taken in France without general assemblies. There should be no interference from anyone else, whoever this may be. UEFA can count on France to be a disciplined member and talk face-to-face about things we are less happy with.”

France hosts the Women’s World Cup which kicks off in Paris on Friday.