France coach snubs starlet Katoto in World Cup squad

Boulogne-Billancourt (France) (AFP) –


The established star names were all on the list when France coach Corinne Diacre unveiled her World Cup squad on Thursday, but there was no place for PSG starlet Marie-Antoinette Katoto.

France hosts the June 7-July 7 and the squad was unveiled just after the prime time television news show on the nation's top channel TF1.

This kind of star treatment is often accorded to the avidly followed men's team, who won the World Cup in Russia in 2018, but was a first for the rising women's game.

There were few surprises in the squad with Lyon's Wendie Renard in defence, captain Amandine Henry in midfield and striker Eugenie Le Sommer, who has 74 goals from 159 international appearances.

But the French league's top scorer, 20-year-old Katoto is the most high-profile absentee, given the 22 goals she has to her name for the capital outfit Paris Saint-Germain.

The youngster, however, has paid for some poor performances in the continental European Champions League this season.

Diacre has selected Katoto just four times and had criticised her for a perceived lack of professional focus.

Many had thought Katoto's four goals in a game with Bordeaux recently may have tipped the scales in her favour but Guingamp striker Emelyne Laurent got the nod instead.

Lyon dominate the squad with seven of their platers featuring, with the central France side facing Barcelona in the women's Champions League final later in May.


Goalkeepers: Sarah Bouhaddi (Lyon), Solène Durand (Guingamp), Pauline Peyraud-Magnin (Arsenal/ENG)

Defenders: Julie Debever (Guingamp), Sakina Karchaoui (Montpellier), Amel Majri (Lyon), Griedge Mbock Bathy (Lyon), Eve Périsset (Paris SG), Wendie Renard (Lyon), Marion Torrent (Montpellier), Aïssatou Tounkara (Atlético Madrid/ESP).

Midfielders: Charlotte Bilbault (Paris FC), Elise Bussaglia (Dijon), Maeva Clemaron (FC Fleury), Grace Geyoro (Paris SG), Amandine Henry (Lyon), Gaëtane Thiney (Paris FC)

Attackers: Viviane Asseyi (Bordeaux), Delphine Cascarino (Lyon), Kadidiatou Diani (Paris SG), Valérie Gauvin (Montpellier), Emelyne Laurent (Guingamp), Eugénie Le Sommer (Lyon)