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France in turmoil, again: On the downfall of Diacre, and how Les Bleues can salvage the World Cup

• Wendie Renard and others have dropped from the French team until changes are made to leadership.
• Diacre has success on the pitch, but off the pitch is a different story.
• Who could France tab in short notice as national team coach ahead of the World Cup this summer?

Ane Frosaker / SPP

In 2022, the France women’s national team achieved its best performance in a European Championship. Now, less than a year on and with a World Cup just months away, there is a fracture between key players and management, one from which there may be no return for head coach Corinne Diacre.

French captain Wendie Renard announced last Friday that she was stepping back from the team, that she would not play at the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup in the current conditions. Her statement was followed quickly by other key players announcing their withdrawal from the team: Marie-Antoinette Katoto and Kadidiatou Diani of Paris Saint-Germain, and Renard’s Lyon teammate, Perle Morroni.

Diacre’s future remains unresolved, with a French Football Federation (FFF) committee meeting scheduled for March 9 to discuss her position and next steps. With the World Cup closing in and the Olympics being held in Paris next year, this is a critical juncture for the national team. If Diacre is removed from her post, a new manager will need to be put in place quickly.

How and why did things escalate to this point, and what does the future hold?

How it got to this point

Diacre was appointed as head coach of the French women’s national team on Aug. 30, 2017. Previously, as a player, she had captained the team at multiple international tournaments, and scored the goal that took France to their first World Cup in 2003. She went into coaching after her retirement, starting out as a member of Bruno Bini’s national team staff. 

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