Herve Renard leaves Saudi Arabia role to take over at France women's team

Frenchman guided the national team to its greatest ever result at last year's World Cup with 2-1 win over eventual winners Argentina

Herve Renard's last match in charge of Saudi Arabia ended in defeat to Bolivia in Jeddah on Tuesday. AFP
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The Saudi Arabia Football Federation has agreed to terminate the contract of head coach Herve Renard so he can take over the France women's team ahead of this year's Women's World Cup.

The 54-year-old Frenchman was appointed Saudi Arabia coach in July 2019 and led the country to its greatest ever result when they beat eventual champions Argentina in their opening game at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

SAFF said in a statement on Twitter that it had agreed to terminate Renard's contract at his request, adding that it wished him "every success in his future career".

"[Renard] has an offer from the French federation and expressed his desire to take this opportunity," SAFF president Yasser Al Misehal told Saudi Sports Channel (SSC).

"We were informed four days before the current international window and I received a letter from the French Federation, and consulted with a number of members of the board of directors, and we decided to accept this request."

Renard succeeds as France women's coach Corinne Diacre, who was sacked by the French Football Federation earlier this month after captain Wendie Renard said she would not play at the World Cup if the coach remained in charge.

Ranked fifth in the world, France will be looking to win a first World Cup at this year's showpiece, which is being co-hosted by New Zealand and Australia from July 20-August 20.

Renard's last match in charge of Saudi Arabia ended in defeat on Tuesday as the Green Falcons fell 2-1 to Bolivia in a friendly in Jeddah.

After the match the former Morocco coach thanked Saudi Arabia for their support during his tenure but said he felt he had taken the team as far as he could.

"I would like to thank everybody in Saudi for their support during almost four years," he told reporters.

"I think I did the maximum with the team. I can't reach another level so I prefer to be honest with everybody. Thank you again, it was fantastic time."

Al Misehal said SAFF would take its time to consider Renard's successor with the national team's next match in September.

Updated: March 29, 2023, 6:20 AM