France coach Diacre sacked by FFF as player mutiny disrupts Women's World Cup preparation
Corinne Diacre was on shaky ground once senior France stars began strike action, despite her claims of a "personal settling of scores".
Corinne Diacre was sacked as France head coach on Thursday after a player revolt highlighted "irreversible dysfunctions" ahead of the Women's World Cup.
The French Football Federation (FFF) said its executive committee determined a "fracture" between Diacre and senior players had "reached a point of no return which harms the interests of the national team".
It follows captain Wendie Renard last month announcing she would not play at the World Cup under Diacre's leadership, with forwards Kadidiatou Diani and Marie-Antoinette Katoto following suit by putting their own international careers on hold. All three issued forceful statements on social media before effectively going on strike from the team.
Diacre came out fighting on Wednesday when she accused her detractors of participating in "a destabilization operation ... whose only objective is a personal settling of scores".
Yet her five-and-a-half-year stint at the national team helm is over, following recommendations made by a commission comprising former France women's players Laura Georges and Aline Riera, long-time Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas and former France men's international Marc Keller.
The FFF said in a statement: "The numerous hearings carried out made it possible to establish the observation of a very significant divide with senior players and highlighted a discrepancy with the requirements of the very high level. This fracture has reached a point of no return which harms the interests of the national team.
"If the FFF recognizes the involvement and the seriousness of Corinne Deacon and her staff in the exercise of their mission, it appears that the dysfunctions observed seem, in this context, irreversible.
"In view of these elements, it was decided to put an end to the mission of Corinne Deacon at the head of the French women's team.
"This change of coach is part of a new global ambition led by the FFF in favor of the development of women's football and the performance of the French team, which will have to achieve high objectives during the 2023 World Cup and the 2024 Olympics."
Interim FFF president Philippe Diallo called on the commission to begin the search for a new head coach and determine candidates as soon as possible.
As Diacre reluctantly departs, the FFF called into question the tactics of the players in staging their public mutiny, stating that operating in such a way "to express their criticisms was no longer acceptable in future".
France begin their campaign at the Women's World Cup, which will be co-hosted by Australia and New Zealand, when they play Jamaica in Sydney on July 23. They will also face Brazil and Panama in Group F.