PARIS – French midfielder Amandine Henry was recalled to the national team on Thursday after making critical remarks about coach Corinne Deacon in a recent interview.
Henry, who was dropped for two European Championship qualifiers last month, will once again be the team captain when France host Austria on November 27 and Kazakhstan on December 1.
“We started the qualifiers with Amandine as captain, that won’t change,” Deacon said during a video conference. “I made the decision not to call him for the last training camp. Everyone took it as an affront, but it was a decision made at the time.
Henry became the last French player to complain about Deacon when she spoke to Canal Plus on Sunday. She described the atmosphere at last year’s World Cup as tense and chaotic, with distressed players crying in their bedrooms.
“I’ve heard the recent reviews. Now is not the time to address this issue as our national team play for their future on the pitch. We will deal with issues face to face, ”Deacon said. “I am still standing, I am supported by my president. I heard what some people said. It’s a problem, things have to be settled, but the priority is the France team and the upcoming match.
France are tied with Austria at the top of Group G with 16 points from six matches. France did not concede a goal but drew 0-0 in Austria and struggled without the influential Henry.
Henry has been captain of France since 2017 and has made 92 international appearances.
During a brutal phone call with Deacon lasting 15 seconds, Henry recalled how stunned she had been when the coach abandoned her last month. The rejection she felt reinforced her decision to speak for herself and other players.
“I know I’m taking a risk, but if I don’t, who will? Henry said in the interview. “I saw girls cry in their rooms (during the World Cup), I happened to cry in my room. I wanted to experience this World Cup, but it was total chaos.
Henry also spoke of growing unease within the squad, which includes several players from the dominant Lyon squad which have won multiple Champions League and national titles.
“I’ve been getting heavy, negative comments for a long time,” Henry said. “Things couldn’t go on. I had something to do. “
Forward Eugenie Le Sommer, center-back Wendie Renard and goalkeeper Sarah Bouhaddi all play for Lyon and have criticized Deacon.
“I would bet that both my hands are cut off that France will not win the Euro (2022) if Corinne Deacon remains in charge,” Bouhaddi said last month in an interview with the Lyon television channel.
Bouhaddi was not called by Deacon on Thursday.
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