France star Renard will not play at 2023 World Cup

Renard was part of the French team which reached the semi-finals of Euro 2022

France captain Wendie Renard says she will not play at this summer’s World Cup as she criticised her country’s football “system”.

The 32-year-old centre-back has made 142 appearances for her country and at club level has won nine Champions League titles with Lyon.

However, she says she will not play at the tournament in Australia and New Zealand “to preserve my mental health.”

France play in Group F alongside Brazil, Jamaica and Panama.

In a statement posted to social media,external-link Renard said: “I wore the blue, white and red jersey 142 times with passion, respect, commitment and professionalism. I love France more than anything.

“I’m not perfect, far from it, but I can no longer endorse the current system, far from the requirements required by the highest level.

“It is a sad but necessary day to preserve my mental health.

“It is with a heavy heart that I write this message to inform you of my decision to take a step back from the French team. Unfortunately, I will not play in this World Cup in such conditions.

“My face can hide the pain, but my heart hurts and I don’t want to hurt anymore. Thank you for your support and respect for my decision.”

Renard has represented her country at two World Cups, including in 2019 when France hosted the tournament.

She helped them win the SheBelieves Cup in 2017, and prior to that two Cyprus Cups.

At club level, she has spent her entire career at Lyon as they rose to become the dominant force in European women’s football.

With Lyon, Renard has won 15 Division 1 Feminine titles and nine Coupes de France, as well as nine Champions League trophies.

BBC Sport has contacted the French Football Federation (FFF) for comment.

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