Toulon denies firing Chloé Bulleux because of her pregnancy and opens the door to her being reinstated

“We are shocked by Chloé Bulleux’s statements”. Thierry Oelker, Communications Director of Toulon Métropole Var Handball, reacted on behalf of the club for franceinfo sport on Sunday 10 April. He gives reasons “purely sporty” to justify the non-renewal of the contract of Chloé Bulleux, the former France international, who benefited from an optional year for next season.

The right winger, who has just given birth to baby Noah, told BeIN Sports that the club’s refusal to take that option was due to her coming back from pregnancy. She immediately received the support of many players, including the French team’s goalkeeper, Cléopâtre Darleux. “I went from the captain to nothing”, the young mother in particular had explained with many emotions.

The player had signed a one-year contract with another optional season following the arrival of new coach Stéphane Plantin in February 2021. Chloé Bulleux, who has been absent since July due to her pregnancy, did not set foot on the parquet floors of the season and no more seems to be part of his coach’s plans.

“Of course, when a new coach comes, he reshuffles the cards. Stéphane wants speed, panache and youth on the wings. That’s why we got Elise Caramello to sign a professional contract and we’ve just signed Manon Pellerin for next season.”Thierry Oelker told us to justify the sporting reasons behind Chloé Bulleux’s expulsion.

Coach Stéphane Plantin also mentions budgetary reasons. “We have a payroll to respect and it seemed more appropriate to me to focus it on rear base, which is the sector where we are currently struggling the most.”he defends himself. “I have absolutely nothing against the fact that she was pregnant.“, adds the French coach.

The practice was also attacked by the player, who explains that she was not warned in person but only by registered letter. A mistake and a mistake, according to the club, who came out of silence this Monday, April 11. For his part, the coach says he met the player one-on-one in the autumn to tell the winger that she was no longer in the plans. “We did our best and with the utmost respect”he says.

The club and manager have also revealed that they are open to returning to the squad for Chloé Bulleux, whose maternity leave is about to end. “She’s welcome to take her place”comments Stephane Plantin. “She’s already coming back”he adds.

With a reduced workforce, the Toulonnaises moved to Brest with just 12 players, and the possible return of Chloé Bleux could benefit a troubled side eleventh in the standings. However, the player made it clear in her interview that she was thinking about retiring.

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