- Corinne Diacre has been named coach of France's women's team
- She replaces Olivier Echouafni, dismissed after less than a year in the job
- Diacre made headlines as the first woman to coach a professional men's side
The French national women's team has a new coach after Corinne Diacre was appointed to replace Olivier Echouafni on Wednesday. The 43-year-old becomes the first female coach of the women's side since Elisabeth Loisel, who held the position for almost ten years between August 1997 and January 2007.
Diacre may not be the first woman to take charge of Les Bleues, but she steps into the role as a genuine trailblazer. Capped 121 times by France, the former defender assumes the reins after becoming the first woman to coach a professional men's team, having spearheaded Ligue 2 side Clermont Foot since 12 September 2014. In total, she oversaw 50 wins, 39 draws and 44 defeats in 133 games, before which she coached her old club ASJ Soyaux and served as assistant to her national team predecessor Bruno Bini.
— FFF (@FFF) August 30, 2017
[PRESS RELEASE] Corinne Diacre has been appointed coach of France's women's team
The challenges facing Diacre in her new role could hardly be more intense. France are set to host the FIFA Women's World Cup 2019™ and the home nation have made no secret of their desire to lift the trophy. Diacre will need to inspire a squad that has fallen short in their last four major tournaments, exiting at the quarter-final stage of UEFA Women's EURO 2013, Women's World Cup 2015, the 2016 Women's Olympic Football Tournament and Women's EURO 2017.
"I'm pleased with the appointment of Corinne Diacre," said the President of the French Football Federation, Noel Le Graet. "Corinne is a very experienced coach who now begins a long-term project with a major immediate goal: preparing for the 2019 World Cup, which we will host."
Diacre's first test as France coach will be a meeting with Chile in Caen on 15 September, before Les Bleues tackle Spain in Calais three days later.