France’s women’s football team was left devastated on Friday as three of its biggest stars decided to quit and legendary captain Wendie Renard said the arrangement it is now affecting his mind.
Within an hour of the 32-year-old Lyon back-to-back, Paris Saint-Germain pair Kadidiatou Diani and Marie-Antoinette Katoto also announced that they no longer want to play for France.
“It’s sad but it’s the only way to protect my mind,” said the 142-time shutout Renard, five months before the game. World Cup in New Zealand and Australia.
“I will not go to the World Cup under these conditions.
Star Diani, 27, who leads the scoring in the French league, said he has also severed his ties with the national team.
“After our captain’s announcement, I have stopped my relationship with the national team. If major changes are announced, I will return. come back,” said Diani.
Katoto, 23, is equally eloquent.
“I no longer agree with the management of the French team or the values that are being promoted,” he said.
The French federal government said they will investigate the matter next week.
“There is no one above the organization of the French team,” the FFF said in a statement.
“We will announce their decision and our executive commission will investigate the matter on February 28.”
France are coached by 47-year-old Corinne Diacre, who took charge of the team in 2017 and is under contract until 2024.
Although the players did not directly blame Diacre and the FFF for their decision to resign, the coach is known for a abusive practices and stars were also expelled in the past.
Renard himself was stripped of the France captaincy when Diacre was appointed, only to regain the armband four years later.
Diacre’s decision to recall Kheira Hamraoui, who has a good relationship with Katoto and Diani, does not seem to have helped to clear the crisis.
Hamraoui was the victim of a special and violent attack in November 2021.
International French brothers Aminata Diallo was charged with serious violence and criminal association for his role in the attack on Hamraoui.
Diallo, who pleaded not guilty, spent five days in jail after being charged and has been under judicial supervision since his release in September. In January he was allowed to sign for the Spanish side Levante.
France have never won a major international tournament and recently lost to Germany and Sweden.
French football has been embroiled in recent controversy with Noel Le Graet, the president of the French Football Association (FFF) suspended since January.
The 81-year-old has been under pressure since he made controversial comments in a radio interview about French legend Zinedine Zidane’s interest in coaching the national team.
A report by the sports department also focused on allegations of “inappropriate behavior” among women.
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