Ivory Coast parts ways with coach Jean-Louis Gasset despite knockout stage possibilities

AFCON 2023 Ivory Coast parts ways with coach Jean-Louis Gasset despite knockout stage possibilities

Festus Chuma 18:58 - 24.01.2024

Ivory Coast dismisses coach Jean-Louis Gasset amid uncertain AFCON progression.

Ivory Coast national football team has parted ways with head coach Jean-Louis Gasset, despite the team still harboring hopes of advancing to the last 16 of the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON).

The host nation, currently in a precarious position in the tournament, announced this significant change as they await the outcome of other group matches to determine their fate.

The Ivory Coast Football Federation (FIF) confirmed the departure of Gasset on Wednesday, citing "insufficient results" as the reason for the termination of his contract, as well as that of his assistant, Ghislain Printant.

"The contracts of coach Jean-Louis Gasset and his assistant Ghislain Printant are terminated due to insufficient results," the FIF stated in a press release.

This development comes in the wake of the team's disappointing 4-0 defeat against Equatorial Guinea, leaving the Elephants with a slim chance of progressing to the knockout stages.

They have managed only one win in their three group matches, placing them in a position where they must rely on results from other games to continue in the tournament.

If they do advance, former midfielder Emerse Fae will take the helm as the interim coach.

Gasset, 70, who was appointed as the head coach of the Ivory Coast team in March 2022, has had a storied career.

He previously served as an assistant to Laurent Blanc with the French national team and had stints as head coach at various French clubs including Montpellier, Caen, Istres, St Etienne, and Girondins Bordeaux.

His resignation reportedly came after the loss to Equatorial Guinea, marking a disappointing end to his tenure with the Ivorian team.

Gasset had replaced another French coach, Patrice Beaumelle, whose contract was not renewed following the team's failure to qualify for the World Cup and their elimination in the last-16 at the previous AFCON finals in Cameroon.

This incident marks the second coaching casualty of this year's AFCON, following the dismissal of Ghana's Chris Hughton after their group-stage exit.

The Ivory Coast, historically a strong contender in the African football scene, has failed to get out of the group stage at AFCON only once in their nine previous attempts.

As the final round of group games unfolds on Wednesday, January 24, with South Africa facing Tunisia and Namibia up against Mali in Group E, and Tanzania playing DR Congo and Zambia battling Morocco in Group F, the fate of the host nation hangs in the balance. 

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