with the first eliminations, the waltz of the selectors has already begun

with the first eliminations, the waltz of the selectors has already begun

From our special correspondent in Abidjan – Barely two weeks of competition, and six coaches have already left the benches of their selection during this CAN 2024. Jean-Louis Gasset, Djamel Belmadi, Adel Amrouche, Chris Hugton and have been removed from their function while Jalel Kadri and Tom Saintfiet chose to resign.

Published on: 01/25/2024 – 12:00

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African football, known for its animalistic nicknames, often looks for a “scapegoat” when poor performances occur. This CAN 2024 is no exception to the rule: eight teams were eliminated at the end of the group phase, and six coaches have already lost their jobs, named guilty of their team’s crashes.

The host country itself got rid of its coach. After the disastrous performance of Ivory Coast against Equatorial Guinea, ending in a 4-0 humiliation, French coach Jean-Louis Gasset was dismissed from his position. He would have presented his resignation to the president of the federation who accepted it. The Ivorian Emerse Faé, one of the French technician’s assistants, will act as interim for the rest of the competition.

Read alsoCAN 2024: the program for the round of 16

Belmadi left

Another departure caused a lot of noise: that of Djamel Belmadi, African champion with Algeria in 2019. The problem is that his Fennecs have not won a match in the final phase of the African Cup since , which led them to two pitiful eliminations in the first round, in 2022 and 2024. After the latest, which occurred against Mauritania, the departure of the charismatic Franco-Algerian was made official.

Also read “It’s a dejection” for Algerian players after the new CAN fiasco

The Tanzania coach, for his part, produced a rather original performance. He was fired even before his team was eliminated. Indeed, Adel Amrouche was suspended because of his comments questioning the supposed “influence of Morocco on African football”. Comments which led CAF to suspend him for eight matches and his federation to cut ties.

On the Ghana side, we also looked to coach Chris Hughton when finding a manager. As a reminder, the Black Stars are eliminated, finishing third in group B with only 2 points, the fault of two goals conceded during stoppage time against Mozambique. Arriving in February 2023, the 63-year-old Englishman was not particularly popular with Ghanaian supporters. One of them even attacked him at the start of the tournament after the defeat against Cape Verde.

Tom Saintfiet’s class

The Tunisian Jalel Kadri announced his resignation from the position of coach at a press conference after the South Africa-Tunisia match (0-0), synonymous with elimination for the Carthage Eagles. He took responsibility after a competition spent anonymously.

There remains the class of Tom Saintfiet, the good-natured coach who presided over the destiny of Gambia for five and a half years and who qualified it for the first two African Cups in its history. After a crazy match against Cameroon, he announced his decision: “Despite the defeat, I am proud of my heroes. I love Gambia and they will always have a special place in my heart. […] I’m going to cry when I go home, but I think it was time for me and The Gambia to try new things,” he explained. “The Gambia will always remain in my heart. It’s been a fantastic five and a half years and it’s best to leave now.”

“Thank you for your service, boss. At the end of the day, The Gambia will be missing a great tactician. Five and a half years of incredible service to our nation, qualifying for two consecutive AFCONs was no fluke,” said the Gambian federation shortly after the announcement.

We prefer it when it happens like this.


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