HomeIvory Coast sack coach Gasset despite retaining AFCON hope

Ivory Coast sack coach Gasset despite retaining AFCON hope

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Ivory Coast have sacked head coach Jean-Louis Gasset despite the Elephants still harbouring hopes of reaching the last 16 of the Africa Cup of Nations on home soil.

Ivory Coast started their home tournament with a routine 2-0 win over Guinea-Bissau before losing 1-0 to Nigeria in their second Group A fixture.

In Monday’s final set of Group A games, Gasset’s side capitulated in a crushing 4-0 defeat to Equatorial Guinea, who edged out Nigeria on goal difference to top the standings.

Ivory Coast finished third in their group, and they will discover whether they have done enough to progress as one of the tournament’s best third-placed teams on Wednesday.

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Four of the six groups have been wrapped up, and the hosts currently rank third among the third-placed teams, above Namibia, Zambia and Ghana, with the Black Stars unable to progress.

Should the third-placed teams in Groups E and F better Ivory Coast’s record, they will suffer just their second group-stage exit in the last 10 editions of the Africa Cup of Nations, and their first since 2017.

Regardless of whether the hosts progress, Gasset’s tournament is over, with the Ivorian Football Federation announcing on Wednesday that assistant coach Emerse Fae would take over on an interim basis.

A statement released by the federation’s social media channels said: “The Federation Ivoirienne de Football expresses its regrets for the performance of the Elephants during the group phase of the AFCON 2023.

“However, it remains convinced of the potential of our football team, and calls for the unity of all for the upcoming events.”

Gasset, who has previously worked as an assistant coach for the French national team and Paris Saint-Germain, took charge after Ivory Coast failed to qualify for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

He won 11 of his 18 matches in charge, drawing three and losing four, but back-to-back defeats in front of an expectant home crowd spelled the end of his tenure.

Jon Fisher
Jon Fisher
Jon has over 20 years' experience in sports journalism having worked at the Press Association, Goal and Stats Perform, covering three World Cups, an Olympics and numerous other major sporting events.

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