Diacre has been fired as coach of France’s women’s football team
Just a few months before the Women’s World Cup, leading players revolted and forced Corinne Diacre out of her position as coach of the France women’s team.
The 48-year-old star had a contract until 2024, but the news that team captain Wendie Renard, along with fellow stars Kadidiatou Diani and Marie-Antoinette Katoto, would not be playing for the team last month put a lot of pressure on her.
The French Football Federation (FFF) made the announcement on Thursday, just over four months before the World Cup in Australia and New Zealand, where a fifth-ranked France team hopes to shine.
After the scandal-plagued 81-year-old president of the French federation, Noel Le Graet, recently resigned, the federation declared that its own investigation had revealed “a major fracture with senior players” that had “reached a point of no-return that was damaging the team’s interests.”
“The FFF recognises the gravity and seriousness with which Corinne Diacre and her colleagues have performed their duties,” it said, “but it appears that the flaws in this context are permanent.”
“It has been decided to terminate Corinne Diacre’s position as head of the France women’s team in light of this.”
When Renard, a defender for Lyon who has won 142 caps and is widely regarded as one of the best players in the world, announced last month that she would not participate in the World Cup, she demonstrated that gap.
“I can no longer support the existing system because it falls far short of the qualifications necessary to compete at the highest level,” Renard remarked.
Along with her PSG teammate Katoto, Paris Saint-Germain forward Diani, the French league’s leading scorer who, like Renard, was nominated for the Ballon d’Or the previous year, followed suit.
“There is no turning back for us now. Diani stated last weekend to broadcaster TF1 that “the girls just can’t cope with it any more.” However, Diacre’s dismissal may now see those stars rejoin the group.
On Wednesday, Diacre disclosed to AFP that she was the target of a “smear campaign” and that she was “completely determined to carry out my job and, above all, to do France proud at the next World Cup.”
She had hoped to keep the job until after the Paris Olympics next year.
Diacre’s impressive resume includes 121 caps as a player and a ground-breaking three-year stint as manager of Clermont Men’s Football Club in the French second division.
However, ever since she stripped Renard of the captaincy early in her reign, she has been a source of contention as France coach.
Amandine Henry, a star midfielder for Lyon, skippered the team at the World Cup in 2019, but he has not played since late 2020 and has also argued with the coach.
France lost to the United States in the quarterfinals while hosting the 2019 World Cup under Diacre.
The following year, Les Bleues fell to Germany in the European Championship semi-finals in England.
France will next play home friendly matches in April against Olympic champions Canada and Colombia. No new coach has been hired.
The FFF stated that Philippe Diallo, its interim president, had requested that a committee meet with potential candidates “as soon as possible.”
Following a meeting on Thursday at the FFF headquarters in Paris, Diallo stated that a four-member committee formed to investigate the women’s national team’s management had “unanimously” recommended replacing Diacre.
Gerard Precheur, the coach at PSG
Gerard Precheur, the coach at PSG right now, is one of the names being considered for the position.
France are not by any means the only group in emergency with the World Cup drawing nearer.
In September of last year, 15 players collectively resigned from Spain, which was ranked seventh in the world, calling for significant changes.
However, none of the rebels have played since Coach Jorge Vilda was supported by the Spanish Football Federation.
In a dispute over pay, funding, and contractual issues, Canadian players recently threatened to strike, demanding the same terms as the men’s team. Canada Soccer’s president resigned as a result of the conflict.
On July 23, France’s World Cup campaign kicks off in Sydney against Jamaica.
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