France coach Corinne Diacre fired amid player opposition

PARIS (AP) — France coach Corinne Diacre was fired Thursday, only four months before the Women's World Cup.

The French soccer federation's executive committee made the decision after several players expressed their discontent with Diacre.

“The numerous hearings conducted have made it possible to establish a very important gap with some top players," the federation said. "This gap has reached a point of no return that damages the team's interests."

Diacre, who led the French national team team to the quarterfinals at the last Women's World Cup in 2019, said Wednesday she was the victim of a smear campaign.

Last month, France captain Wendie Renard said she would skip this year’s Women’s World Cup because she was unhappy with the team’s set up. Following Renard’s decision, striker Marie-Antoinette Katoto and forward Kadidiatou Diani also announced they were putting their international careers on hold.

Renard did not go further into detail, but there have been strong tensions in the France squad for years between the players and Diacre. Diani said she would return to the national team only if significant changes are made.

The Women’s World Cup is scheduled to be played from July 20-Aug. 20 in Australia and New Zealand.

The commission that was in charge of auditing the French team will now start interviews for candidates to replace Diacre, the federation said.


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