The images of Marie-Antoinette Katoto’s injury exit on Thursday July 14 left little hope of seeing the striker replay for the France team before the end of the Euro. It’s now official: the striker of the French football team is out of the rest of the tournament.

“Hit against Belgium last night, Marie-Antoinette Katoto is forfeited for the rest of Euro 2022. Examinations confirm a sprained right knee with anterior cruciate ligament injury and cracked meniscus”, announced the French Football Federation in a press release.

Returned to his club Paris-Saint-Germain (PSG), which had just extended it on July 1 until 2025 after tough negotiations, the one who was expected as one of the stars of the Euro will leave England and the base camp of Ashby-de-la-Zouch on Saturday morning.

In the meantime, number 9 of the Bleues, who had left after a quarter of an hour against Belgium in the absence of any contact with an opponent, appeared on Friday at training open to the press, leaning on crutches. . She discussed at length in aside with the coach, Corinne Deacon, at the start of the session.

Katoto had been hit in the same knee during training the day before the match, during a collision with the lateral Eve Perisset. After the meeting against the Belgians, the attacker showed a face marked by suffering, with a huge bandage on the painful joint.

Finding solutions without his titular goalscorer

“MAK” is the star centre-forward of the France team, qualified for the quarter-finals scheduled for July 23 even before the last match of the first round against Iceland on Monday. After a difficult start to preparation, Katoto was, according to Corinne Deacon, “naturally became the number one striker for the France team”. She had scored a goal and delivered an assist in the wide opening victory against Italy on July 10 (5-1).

At 23, the PSG player was presented as one of the headliners of the English Euro, expectations in particular linked to her efficiency this season: her personal total amounts to 48 goals, including 16 with the selection after 15 matches.

“She has a game profile that is important to us. Back to goal, she is able to keep the balls, thanks to her technical quality and her size in the area. It is sure that losing her would be difficult for us, ”recalled after the match against Belgium the captain of the Blue, Wendie Renard.

As the UEFA regulations state, “in the event of serious injury or illness”, no outfield player can be replaced after the first match. Les Bleues will have to continue the tournament at 22.

Les Bleues being assured of first place in Group D, the tricolor staff will be able to take advantage of the last match of their pool against Iceland, Monday, July 18, to try new things tactically. “We have a fairly homogeneous group and some girls can make up for its absence,” noted Griedge Mbock in the mixed zone.