Francois Zahoui confirmed as new Ivory Coast coach

Ivorian Francois Zahoui has been appointed as the new coach of the Ivory Coast national team, replacing Sven Goran Eriksson who led the team in the World Cup Finals in South Africa. According to a communique published Saturday evening on the website of the Ivorian Football Federation (FIF), the former coach of the national junior side has been given a 2-year contract starting from today.

Zahoui, 49, a former coach of Africa Sport, Ivory Coast’s second club side, stepped in as coach to lead Ivory Coast to a 1-0 victory over Italy in a friendly early this month. He’ll be assistant by two French trainers,┬áJean Susini and Laurent Spinosi. He’s currently in Europe meeting the players and will be formally presented to the Ivorian public on 27 August.

The FIF had initially tried to persuade Eriksson to remain in charge but his salary demands led to a breakdown of talks. Discussions then started with former national coach Gerard Gili, but many players were said to have objected to his appointment and he withdrew. Many of the key Ivorian stars are nearing retirement and are desperate to win the African Nations’ Cup in 2012. Despite stars like Drogba, Yaya Toure, Kalou and Eboue, this generation have yet to win a trophy. The only previous major trophy the national has ever won came at the African Nations’ Cup in 1992, when an Ivorian coach, Yeo Martial, was in charge.

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