France Captain Wendie Renard to Miss Women’s World Cup to ‘Protect Mental Health’
France captain Wendie Renard has announced her intention not to participate in the 2023 Women’s World Cup due to ‘protecting mental health’. She made this announcement on Friday morning, joining fellow internationals Marie-Antoinettte Katoto and Kadidiatou Diani in making similar statements.
From July 20 to Aug 20, Australia and New Zealand will host the inaugural Women’s World Cup from July 20 to August 20. This marks the first time two countries have hosted such an event and marks the first senior football tournament for women across both confederations.
France captain Wendie Renard has announced her decision not to play for her country at the Women’s World Cup due to ‘protecting mental health’. At 32 years old, Wendie has 142 international caps and is widely regarded as one of the finest defenders in women’s football.
She has been partnered with Ada Hegerberg since their breakthrough season in 2011 and has won 15 Division 1 Feminine titles, nine Coupes de France titles and eight Champions League trophies throughout her career. Additionally, she represented France at two World Cups, three European Championships, as well as winning the French Super Cup twice.
The Lyon legend announced her resignation from the national team to protect her mental health, with fellow internationals Kadidiatou Diani and Marie-Antoinettte Katoto following suit on social media. The French Football Federation (FFF) took note of these statements and will discuss them at its executive committee meeting on 28 February.
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France captain Renard has announced her withdrawal from the Women’s World Cup to ‘protect her mental health’, according to reports in French media. She joins striker Marie-Antoinettte Katoto and forward Kadidiatou Diani who announced on Friday they too would skip the tournament until significant changes are made to their team setup.
Diani, currently playing for Paris Saint-Germain, has scored 12 goals in her first season with the club and has demonstrated her versatility between forward and midfield positions. Additionally, she is an important key player for France and starred at several youth levels including at the 2012 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup.
Diani’s decision follows in the footsteps of several other top female players who have either quit their national teams or been fired by their coaches. Canada and Spain are currently engaged in a pay equity dispute, while 15 players from Spain were expelled due to an outrage against their coach.
Marie-Antoinette Katoto has been an integral player for France in recent years and she is set to miss the Women’s World Cup due to’mental health concerns’. Since joining France at the top of their game in 2001, Katoto has won 15 Division 1 Feminine titles and eight Champions League trophies.
She is one of the most prolific players in France, scoring a record 26 goals this year for Paris Saint-Germain. Additionally, she has made an impact at international level with 35 caps and 24 goals.
The French Football Federation (FFF) have released a statement noting their disappointment with Renard, Katoto and Diani’s decision to miss the 2023 Women’s World Cup and intending to address it at their executive committee meeting on February 28. They reiterated that no individual is above the Equipe de France institution and pledged all efforts towards ensuring players receive proper treatment.
France captain Wendie Renard has announced she will miss the Women’s World Cup to ‘protect mental health’, according to RMC Sport, France’s multimedia outlet. While Renard had been expected to make an appearance at the tournament in Australia and New Zealand, her decision will significantly hurt Les Bleues who were drawn alongside Jamaica, Brazil and Panama for Group F.
Renard’s selection may seem strange for a star player who has been with the team since she was 20 years old and is widely regarded as one of the game’s best players, yet her worries stem from head coach Corinne Diacre taking away her armband in 2017 before giving it back to her last year.
The French federation has come under fire for the management of their national team, with President Noel Le Graet recently stepping down after an investigation into toxic behaviour. Les Bleues have won just two trophies in five years and lost in both Euros and World Cup quarterfinals – not a good look for Les Bleues who have won just two trophies since then.