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France women’s national team coach remains in limbo amid controversy

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France coach Corinne Diacre had vowed to stay even after three top players stepped away from the team. (Catherine Ivill/UEFA via Getty Images)

France women’s national team coach Corinne Diacre remains in limbo after three top players refused to play for their country in the upcoming World Cup under the “current system.”

While she was expected to step down from her post on Tuesday, as The Times reported Monday, the resignation of French Football Federation president Noël Le Graët has halted plans regarding Diacre’s fate. Her future with the team will be decided at a March 9 meeting of the FFF executive committee.

Le Graët had served as FFF president since 2011 but resigned in the wake of sexual harassment and bullying allegations surfaced. In his absence, the executive committee will appoint a small group from among its members to consider Diacre’s case, French newspaper L’Equipe reported.

The furor over Diacre’s leadership came to a head last Friday, as France captain Wendie Renard and star forwards Marie-Antoinette Katoto and Kadidiatou Diani all cited issues with Les Bleues management in their decisions to step away from the national team. Both Katoto and Diani called for “necessary changes” as a prerequisite for their return to the team.

The World Cup is set to kick off on July 20 in Australia and New Zealand.

In response to the players’ statements, the FFF announced that its executive committee would address the issue at its meeting Tuesday. “The FFF would like to remind that no individual is above the Équipe de France institution,” the statement said.

Diacre has coached the France senior national team since 2017, but she has been involved in a number of controversies in her tenure. For example, she stripped Renard of her captaincy in 2017 before reinstating her as captain in 2021. She also left Katoto off the 2019 World Cup squad.