Amandine Henry: “If I don’t speak, who will?”

amandine-henry-celebrates-for-france

This morning, Corinne Diacre will announce her squad for the next international break. This list of players has been highly anticipated since Amandine Henry spoke with Canal+ to denounce the situation within the national team. 

The list that Diacre will announce is probably one of the most awaited. There has been tension within the national team between the manager and the players for a long time, but the situation has taken on a new dimension since Sunday evening. 

French captain Amandine Henry – who wasn’t called up for the last international break in October – opened up to Canal+. The Lyon player didn’t react publicly after the announcement, nevertheless she took time to think about it. 

“It’s always good to think things through and not react in the heat of the moment,” she said. “I was a little shocked too so I had to question myself personally, to try to understand.”

A 15-second Call

During Henry’s interview, the captain revealed details about the 2019 World Cup that took place in France. 

“I was not 100% fulfilled during the World Cup,” she admitted. “I saw girls crying in their room, and that happened to me too.

Amandine Henry and Eugenie Le Sommer of France (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)

“I wanted to experience this World Cup and in the end it was total chaos because of the atmosphere, the management and the general mood,” the Lyon shed light on a broken bond between the manager and players.

For Henry, the manager punished her for talking to French Football Federation president, Noël Le Graët, about the situation within the national team.

She said: “When he came to Lyon, we thought it was a good opportunity for us to tell him about the situation. Having heard fairly negative feedback on the situation, we wanted to talk and say frankly the things that were wrong.”

France’s midfielder Amandine Henry celebrates (LOIC VENANCE/AFP via Getty Images)

The FFF president likely discussed this with Diacre to better understand the situation. Then, before announcing the French squad in October, she called Henry to announce her decision not to call her up.

“I will remember this call all my life. It lasted 15 seconds,” the midfielder said. “She told me ‘You won’t be there because of your current fitness and your performances’. It hurt, it touched me. I felt great at that time, I was back from an injury but I still had played three of four games. I spoke with my coaches at Lyon and they disagreed with the manager.”

“We can’t continue this way”

“I would have agreed to sit on the bench,” Henry assured on Canal+.

The French icon broken her silence a month after the call, just days before the squad announcement of Diacre.

“I know that some girls are afraid to speak out. They keep saying ‘You, Lyonnaises, can speak, you have won everything, you are legitimate’. I understand them. I’m the captain, if I don’t speak, who will speak?

“You have to be a spokesperson. If that was only how I, personally, feel, that wouldn’t be a big deal, but this is how the majority of the team feel.

“I know I’m taking a risk, but if I don’t take it, who is going to take it?” Henry asked.

Amandine Henry of France (Photo by Alex Grimm/Getty Images)

The FFF president made it clear this week that he wanted Diacre to call up the best players, and Amandine Henry is undoubtedly one of them.

If the French captain is named amongst the squad, she really wants to try one last time to speak with the manager, even if others have already tried.

“Maybe it wasn’t enough since we didn’t succeed,” she said. 

“There is the Euros, the World Cup, the Olympics in France… We can’t continue this way.

“Now is the time to fix the problems, not in three years. France must win a title. We should put everything down and say things frankly. I would like us all to gather around a table, the president, the staff, all the players…”

MORE from Her Football Hub: