Coach of the French women's team since 2017, Corinne Diacre saw her contract with the French Football Federation (FFF) extended until 2022, Friday. She must now prepare the Blue for the Women's Euro football, which was to take place in the summer of 2021 but was postponed to July 2022 because of the coronavirus crisis. Rare in the media, the former Clermont coach gave a long interview to Europe 1 Sport on Saturday evening, in which she talks about decisions to stop competitions during the crisis, the resumption of training and matches as well as its discussions with Didier Deschamps.
"Noël Le Graët made decisions for the general interest of football"
Due to the coronavirus crisis, the professional football championships have been shut down. Decisions taken by the League and the Federation of professional football which have been strongly criticized by certain actors in the field. Corinne Diacre, who was not consulted, even if she spoke with Noël Le Graët, the leader of the French Football Federation, gives a mixed opinion. "The presidents, before speaking, certainly consulted their players," she said. "Perhaps some players have spoken but their words have not been heard enough," she admits.
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This last week, the number, variety and content of certain positions taken on the outcome of the season, the decision to resume or not, to organize play-offs or to resume in January 2021, may have surprised. But for the coach of the Blue, "when we make decisions, they are always open to criticism and criticism". Corinne Deacon believes in any case that Noël Le Graët "made decisions for the general interest of football".
"See how the girls have digested this confinement"
What about after? The German women's team will resume in the coming days. We could therefore fear that the French team will fall behind. But Corinne Deacon is confident. "Today all the other strong European nations in women have stopped. So I think we will start on an equal footing," she said. The coach should physically find her team "in September for an internship, and especially two qualification matches against Serbia [September 18] and Macedonia [September 22]", which were already scheduled and which have remained on the playoff calendar from Europe.
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Corinne Deacon is therefore confident, even if the Blue were eliminated in the quarter-finals against the United States during the World Cup in France in 2019. "I have this chance today, more than in 2017 when I am arrived, to know perfectly the qualities, in particular individual, of the players ", she underlines. And it is in particular this precise point that she will continue to work with her staff: "bring the qualities of these players and put them really at the service of the collective."
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As for the Women's Euro, scheduled for the summer of 2021, which was postponed from July 6 to 31, 2022, Corinne Diacre has a primary objective: "to qualify" for this championship, she insists. The Blue have six games left to play. "The lists are not made a year in advance. With an additional year of preparation, things will necessarily evolve," she notes. "What is important for me and my staff is to see how the girls have digested this confinement, in what physical and psychological state they will return to the regular practice of football. We will know a little more in August or in September when we see them again. "
"The discussions with Didier Deschamps are always interesting and constructive"
After qualifying for the Euro, the coach's objective is of course to make her team win. "Do not be fooled, the results are very important when you hold this position," she says. One reason why Corinne Deacon exchanges "very regularly" with Didier Deschamps, her counterpart to the men's French team. "Didier has already won, it gives him even more credibility today," she said.
"Didier is looking more and more at women's football. Sometimes he gives me his opinion on certain things from a tactical point of view, on certain players. And I give him my point of view from the inside," he explains. -she. "The discussions are always interesting and constructive," she underlines. Like the French men's team, the women's team is increasingly expatriating its players abroad, more "ready today to go and see what is being done abroad".
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"Why wouldn't they go to see what is being done in England, Germany, Spain and even the Netherlands which have had quite a track record since 2017? For me it's not a problem as long as I can keep a follow-up ", supports Corinne Deacon. "Most of the players on Didier Deschamps' team are playing in foreign championships today and he is doing well so I don't see why I shouldn't be able to do it."