HERVE RENARD’S RESIGNATION
“I think I did the maximum with the team. I can’t reach another level so I prefer to be honest with everybody. Thank you again, it was a fantastic time.”
Renard became the head coach of Saudi Arabia in July 2019 and led them to their second successive World Cup finals, where they achieved one of the biggest upsets in World Cup history against eventual champions Argentina with a 2-1 win in Doha, Qatar last year. King Salman declared a public holiday in Saudi Arabia to mark the momentous victory.
The Saudi Arabian Football Federation (SAFF) confirmed Renard’s resignation on Tuesday. SAFF president Yasser Al-Misehal had told Saudi Sports Channel that Renard got an offer from the French Federation “and expressed his desire to take this opportunity”.
“We were informed four days before the current international window and I received a letter from the French Federation, and consulted with the board of directors and we decided to accept this request,” Al-Misehal added.
Renard, Kadidiatou Diani and Marie-Antoinette Katoto criticised the French “system” in their statements, with Renard, who has made 142 appearances for France, adding that she was boycotting the national team “to preserve my mental health”. This was after the Tournoi de France women’s friendly football tournament in February.
Around three weeks later, the FFF announced Diacre’s exit explaining that situation was “irreversible”.
The FFF said it had commissioned a four-person committee to examine the running of the national women’s team following criticism from Renard and her teammates and the committee had “established the observation of a very significant divide between players” which had “reached a point of no return” and “harms the interests of the team”.
The statement read: “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 role of Corinne Diacre at the head of the French women’s team.”
The commission were also tasked with selecting Diacre’s successor ahead of the World Cup.
Renard and her teammates were also criticised in the FFF statement for airing their dissatisfaction on social media. “The committee also noted that the way used by the players to express their criticisms was no longer acceptable in the future,” according to the statement.
WORLD CUP HOPES
Credit: AIPS Media