Evoking the discord between the coach Corinne Deacon and some Lyonnaise was the best way in recent days to annoy the players of the France team. Reunited in Clairefontaine at the start of the week, before joining Brittany where they will play on Friday evening a crucial match for qualifying for Euro 2022 against Austria (9 p.m., at the Roudourou stadium in Guingamp), the Bleues n have not escaped embarrassing questions.
Two days before the meeting, in an interview with Telegram, the president of the French Football Federation, Noël Le Graët, local of the stage and political end, had taken care to demine the situation. “Most girls want to play for the France team, without crisis. The two most famous (Wendie Renard, Amandine Henry) have spoken widely but there are gifted girls, little known in the media, who have written or called me and who are fed up with these quarrels, assaulted the former mayor of Guingamp, Already, between them, I think they will say to each other: “That’s enough!” “
Asked by The world on the phone – due to health constraints – three French internationals, Charlotte Bilbault, Pauline Peyraud-Magnin and Viviane Asseyi, confirmed the holding of a meeting between players at the start of the rally.
“Everyone has a role to play in this story. We all looked each other in the eye and said: “Our goal is the Euro”. We are focused on Austria, confided, Pauline Peyraud-Magnin, the new goalkeeper of the Bleues since the withdrawal of the former holder Sarah Bouhaddi. Only positive things came out of it. There will come a time when there will be other exchanges, as you know. Noel Le Graët announced a mediation meeting once qualification has been acquired.
Calm the game
One of the main interested parties, Amandine Henry, was relieved by this meeting between teammates: “With all the statements, I was bound to be apprehensive, I wondered how the reunion was going to be. But the fact of having had this meeting with the players, that freed us quite a bit, we needed that. Afterwards, we try to disregard… ”
After the injury packages of Eugénie Le Sommer and Marion Torrent, as well as that of Aïssatou Tounkara (positive for Covid-19), Viviane Asseyi had time to participate at the start of the internship before being in turn replaced by Oriane Jean-François because of ankle pain.
The Bayern Munich player also insisted on the “Very good atmosphere” within Les Bleues: “As my mom says [Sidonie Asseyei], what is done is done. Tell me about football… Everything is going very well. There, while I’m answering you, they are also heckling me! “
Faithful to her line of conduct, coach Corinne Deacon did not dwell on the controversies: “There have been statements, we are not going to come back to that. I think these statements were more personal than collective. The players put things on the table, they had this need to express themselves. “
But her selection, with the presence of Amandine Henry – despite the captain’s public comments a few days earlier on Canal + to underline the context of persistent tensions with Corinne Deacon – shows that she wants to calm things down. The former coach of Clermont (Ligue 2) retains the support of its president, who nevertheless sent the message that it would be inappropriate to do without the best players.
“There were minor slippages on the part of some players, Corinne [Diacre] did not soften the atmosphere. But since then things have changed. She picked the ones she thinks are the best, said Noël Le Graët. I told him we couldn’t go on like this. She heard the message. “
” Do not worry “
First in Group G of the Euro qualifiers, tied on points with the Austrians (16 points), the Blue, neutralized in the first leg (0-0), will be keen to uphold their status as the third nation in the world. “It’s a good match to play, not easy because, in the past, this team has more or less held us in check, at least in terms of the score [également 1-1 au premier tour de l’Euro 2017]. Obviously it is important to finish in the lead “, recalls Pauline Peyraud-Magnin.
By finishing among the three best second of the nine pools, the France team would however have another possibility of qualifying directly for the next European Championship. Otherwise, it will have to go through dams. “I will especially remind them of the importance of this game. I’m not going to yell at them the day before such a meeting, confided Noël Le Graët about his scheduled meeting with the players the day before the match. Several girls have already told me: “Don’t worry!” ”
Initially scheduled for 2021, the Euro will take place in 2022 in England, so as not to compete with the men’s Euro, postponed to next year due to the pandemic. If the Bleues acquire their qualification at the end of the last two games (France will receive Kazakhstan on Tuesday 1er December, it will take a year and a half to play this essential tournament after the disappointments of the successive eliminations in the quarter-finals since Euro 2013.
“We’re making a big deal out of this story. Today, our goal is to qualify. Unfortunately, we won’t be able to play the Euro in six months. We would have preferred and believe me that we would have all been focused on the goal of winning it ”, launches Pauline Peyraud-Magnin. Absent for this match, Viviane Asseyi, adds: “The answer will be, as always, on the ground. ” Goals to erase words.