Analysis, 04 March 2012

If you believe the newspapers in Ivory Coast, the national team are currently without a coach after the expiration of Francois Zahoui’s contract on the 31 March. The football federation though refuse to discuss his contract in public and say that for the time being at least Zahoui remains the national team manager.
What’s going on? Again, according to the press key members of the national team squad don’t want to see Zahoui remain in the post, a coach with limited high-level experience, although he lead the national team to the Cup of Nations final in February. The 49-year-olds lack of authority over the squad was blamed as one of the reasons for his failure to bring home the trophy. Yet, aside from that final, lost on penalties, he has won every competitive match the team have played in.
He is the second local Coach to lead the side to the continental championship final after Martial Yeo who granted the Elephants their first and only trophy so far in 1992. The football federation chairman Sidy Diallo has recently started a tour in Europe, which according to sources at the federation is to look for a ‘big name’ to lead the team to the South African 2013 Africa Nations Cup as well as the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. Thus, former Senegal coach Bruno Metsu is one coach regularly cited as a possible replacement, as is the former England manager Sven Goran Erickson, who led Ivory Coast in the 2010 World Cup finals in South Africa. The Ivorian sporting media report are also keen on former Ivorian goal keeper and 1992 hero Alain Gouamene. In a recent declaration, Zahoui said he was waiting patiently for the Ivorian football officials.
Speculations will continue until Zahoui’s status is confirmed. But how long will the team remain in uncertainty?

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