Hervé Renard has overseen his final game as Saudi Arabia manager on Tuesday night, with the national team losing 2-1 to Bolivia at Jeddah. The 54-year-old head coach has handed in his resignation to the Saudi FA, who agreed to terminate his contract, which was due to expire in 2027, at his request. Renard led Saudi Arabia to an historic win over world champions Argentina in the last World Cup’s group stage. It is now a matter of days before the French FA appoints Renard as the new France’s women team manager following Corinne Diacre’s dismissal. The latter was removed from her position by the French FA amid a player exodus over her management style, just months before the World Cup kicks off in Australia and New Zealand this summer.
Renard, a double AFCON winner with Zambia and Ivory Coast, has taken to Twitter to confirm his departure. “Having been the coach of National team of Saudi Arabia is a great pride for me. Since August 2019, I had the chance to be an integral part of the life of this beautiful country. I have seen this team grow alongside me and achieve a fabulous World Cup with this fantastic and unforgettable win against Argentina. [I am] Very proud to have been able to show to the world the progress and a good image of the Saudi football. It’s time for me to fly to another horizon but with this memories engraved in me.”
It remains to be seen whether Renard will be in charge of Les Bleues for their upcoming friendly games during the international break. France will host Colombia in Clermont on April 7 then Canada four days later in Le Mans.
GFFN | Bastien Cheval