French football bosses say the future looks bright for Diacre despite Euros exit

·2-min read
AP - Rui Vieira

French football chiefs on Thursday vowed to back women's national team coach Corinne Diacre despite the 2-1 semi-final loss to Germany in the European championships.

Diacre, 47, took over in 2017 on a four-year contract and led the team to the semi-finals of the 2019 World Cup where they lost to the United States who went on to win the tournament.

Noel Le Graet, the head of the French Football Federation (FFF), said that Diacre had fulfilled the federation's objectives.

"Of course there is progress to be made but she has constructed a group that prizes team work and who hold her in high esteem," Le Graet told the French sports newspaper L'Equipe.

In the prelude to the European championships in England, Diacre's methods came under fire from several senior players.

Complaints

In October 2020, the veteran goalkeeper Sarah Bouhaddi retired from international football complaining that the atmosphere in the France camp was too negative.

But the FFF high command kept faith with Diacre and has been rewarded with a run to a first appearance in the semi-finals at the European championships.

"The foundation of the France squad is solid," said Diacre after the defeat on Wednesday night at the Stadium MK in Milton Keynes, central England.

"We have built something great with a very cohesive, hard working group that does not like to lose. That's a good omen for the future."

Targets

Le Graet said he wanted to keep Diacre in post to lead the team at the 2023 World Cup and at the 2024 Olympics in Paris.

"The Olympics are obviously going to be something very important here in France and we don't want to be chopping and changing coaches," he added.

"The national team is going through a good period. We didn't reach the final but we weren't that far away from the levels of Germany."

Germany, who have won eight of the 12 European championships, will take on hosts England in the final on Sunday at Wembley.

"I don't think it gets any better than that," said Germany midfielder Lena Oberdorf.

"We all hoped that we would get to the final and now it's against England. I think the whole stadium will be against us, so we will have to soak up that atmosphere and turn it into energy."

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