Dismissed shortly before the 2023 World Cup, former Bleues coach Corinne Diacre believes “that we had to have (her) head” during an interview with the daily L’Équipe, her first public speaking since her ouster . “Beyond the animosity around me, there was a very well-developed plan. Basically, I had to have my head,” says the 49-year-old technician, replaced in March 2023 by Hervé Renard, after being let go by several executives including captain Wendie Renard.

The central defender of Olympique Lyonnais had withdrawn from the selection and had blamed Diacre. Paris SG attackers Marie-Antoinette Katoto and Kadidiatou Diani followed suit. “As (Renard) is the captain, we listened to her. In fact, it was his word against mine. But as she had support from the Federation, and not me…”, says Deacon who adds that the Hamraoui affair was also fatal to her.

“I also link this to the Hamraoui affair. At one point, I took a stand for the one who was attacked. This did not please other players. When it was necessary to rally the cause of their captain, some joined in,” explains the ex-coach. Diacre had decided to recall Kheira Hamraoui to the French team in February 2023, while she had frosty relations in her club PSG with Katoto and Diani, close to Aminata Diallo, accused of having ordered the attack on Hamraoui in November 2021.

Corinne Diacre also points out the role played in her ouster by Jean-Michel Aulas, former president of OL and head of women’s football at the Federation. “He had a lot more power when Noël Le Graët resigned (from his position as president of the FFF, on February 28, 2023). It all starts from there.” she says.

“From the start, because I didn’t do what he would have wanted, what he expected regarding the players at his club. I managed the French team. A national selection is made up of elements from several clubs. Even if there are very good players in this club, there are also elsewhere” she explains, adding that Aulas would have wanted more Lyonnaises in the selection. Diacre says he no longer watches the women’s D1 – “it no longer interests me at all” – but follows the women’s and men’s C1 or the men’s championships.

The former Bleues coach says she is “ready to find a big challenge, at club or national level. I am giving myself all the means to experience a new adventure, if possible abroad.”