France sack Women's Head coach just months before World Cup

FIFA WWC France sack Women's Head coach just months before World Cup

Ayoola Kelechi 15:40 - 09.03.2023

France have decided to fire head coach Corrine Diacre after players left the national team in protest

France Women’s National Team manager Corrine Diacre has been relieved of her duties effective today after a meeting of the France Football Federation’s executive committee. 

Diacre sacked after multiple players left the national team in protest

Diacre had been the subject of immense criticism and pressure, especially in the last few weeks when multiple players quit the national team as a result of her management style, which they deemed unprofessional. 

The national team was rocked by the retirement of its captain, Wendie Renard, on the morning of February 24th and the subsequent abdications of Marie Antoinette Katoto and Kadidatou Diani just hours later in support of their captain. 

All three players cited the same reasons for stepping away from the national team, calling for a change in management and decrying Diacre’s methods as being far from the levels currently required at the top level. 

They were not the only players who shared these feelings, as other players have been frozen out of the team for challenging Diacre, such as Lyon duo Eugene Le Sommer, who is France’s all-time top scorer, and Amandine Henry, who was stripped of the captaincy in 2021. 

Diacre also fell out with former first-choice goalkeeper Sarah Bouahadi who also refused to represent France while the former Clermont manager was in charge of the Women’s National Team. 

FFF Panel recommended Diacre sacking

In a statement released today, FFF revealed that Diacre had been sacked following an inquiry conducted by a panel consisting of two current Ligue 1 club owners and two former France internationals who are also part of the governing body’s executive committee.

The panel which included club presidents Jean-Michel Aulas and Marc Keller, as well as Laura Georges and Aline Riera who have almost 250 combined caps for France, organised a number of hearings and submitted their findings to the FFF along with a recommendation that Diacre should be removed from her post as manager immediately. 

The panel was able to establish “a very significant fracture with managerial staff,” as well as “a discrepancy with the requirements of the very high level.” They also called for Diacre’s dismissal because they believed that the “fracture reached a point of no return which harms the interests of selection.”

Katoto and Diani have during the 2022 WEUROS (Sports Press Photo)
Katoto and Diani have elected to stop representing France (Sports Press Photo)

Diacre’s sacking means that France have barely three months until the Women’s World Cup to find a replacement manager, but it also means they have a richer squad to select from since they can once again call on the services of players who had earlier jettisoned the team. 

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