Two more players join Wendie Renard in quitting the French national team

Katoto and Diani have elected to stop representing France (Sports Press Photo)

FIFA WWC Two more players join Wendie Renard in quitting the French national team

Ayoola Kelechi 19:05 - 24.02.2023

PSG's Marie-Antoinette Katoto and Kadidiatou Diani have asked not to be selected for the France Women's national team

Following the decision of France's women's national team captain Wendie Renard to step back from representing the country due to a dispute with the current coaching staff, two more French players have also decided to step back from the national team until there are changes to the team’s structure. 

Renard sensationally quit the national team today, citing a lack of professionalism from the management team in charge of the French women’s national team, saying that although it pained her to leave the national team, she saw no other way given the state of affairs. 

Katoto and Diani join Renard in leaving the national team 

She has now been joined by the Paris Saint-Germain duo of Marie-Antoinette Katoto and Kadidiatou Diani, who have also declared that will be taking leave from the national team until further notice or until such time as the issues with the team’s management are fixed. 

Katoto and Diani released separate social media statements in solidarity with Renard’s decision to quit the national team while declaring themselves unavailable for selection as well. 

Katoto’s statement read, “The words of our captain Wendie lead me, in turn, to talk about the situation in the France team. 

“The events of 2019 [World Cup], the injury of 2022 and then recent events show me that I am no longer in adequacy with the management of the France team and the transmitted values. 

“I, therefore, take the decision to put my international career on hold until the necessary changes are applied.”

While Diani’s release read, “Following the press release from our captain Wendie Renard and in view of recent results and management in the France team, I am announcing that I am suspending my international obligations in order to focus on my club career. 

"[I am] First [a] fan of the France team, if the necessary profound changes finally arrive, I will return to the service of the tricolour jersey.”

France left in crisis following multiple departures

Unlike Renard (32), Diani (27) and Katoto (24) did not state that they were outrightly retiring from the national team, only that they were stepping away until the right things were put in place, however, their absences at the Women’s World Cup slated for summer this year will be felt just as much. 

Katoto is one of France’s best players and has scored 26 goals in 21 appearances for the national team, while Diani is already a veteran of the team having experienced 82 matches with France across nine years. 

In addition to the absence of these three, France are also set to be without their all-time top scorer, Eugene Le Sommer, and Lyon midfielder Amandine Henry, who have both been blacklisted by the national team coach, Corinne Diacre. 

They will also be without experienced PSG goalkeeper Sarah Bouhaddi, who quit the national team after 149 appearances, citing similar reasons as Renard, Katoto, and Diani. 

France Football Federation now faces a tough decision, as they have to decide how to act in the face of these resignations that are similar to the Spanish uprising that saw 15 players declare themselves unavailable for selection unless coach Jorge Vilda was shown the exit door. 

On that occasion, the RFEF in charge of the Spanish national team said they would not be bullied into making changes and are in a stand-off with the players involved. Whether FFF can afford to toe the same line is uncertain. 

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