Paris (AFP) - French Football Federation (FFF) president Noel le Graet said he was adopting a "very careful" approach after a photoshopped image of national team coach Didier Deschamps emerged online accompanied by threats from Islamic State sympathisers.
"French 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 on Tuesday (Nov 1).
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 1998 World Cup winner in chains and being held hostage by militants.
The picture was 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 ISIS 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 last Friday (Oct 27), shows him chained up in an orange prison jumpsuit and threatened with a gun.
"Didier for me is the best, there is no contest," said le Graet. "Everyone on the executive committee of the FFF unanimously supports this extension."
The deal will take the 49-year-old Deschamps through to the end of Euro 2020, meaning he will have been in charge of Les Bleus for eight years.
The former midfielder, captain of the France side that won the 1998 World Cup and Euro 2000, was appointed in 2012 to succeed Laurent Blanc.
He took France to the quarter-finals of the 2014 World Cup and then to the final of Euro 2016 on home soil, where they lost in extra time to Portugal.
They have also qualified for next year's World Cup in Russia after topping their qualifying group.