Why did Ivory Coast sack manager Jean Louis Gasset in middle of AFCON?

Over the years, Ivory Coast has been one of the most renowned African teams, consistently producing remarkable players. Icons like Chelsea and Premier League legend Didier Drogba, the Toure brothers – Yaya and Kolo – who played for Man City and Liverpool respectively, and talents like Wilfried Zaha and Franck Kessie have emerged from the country. The team has also performed admirably in both national and continental tournaments throughout the decades.

As a result, their recent dip in form is somewhat unexpected, particularly in the AFCON, where they have struggled to advance to the knockout stage of a tournament they are hosting. This comes after experiencing two defeats in three games.

Why did Ivory Coast fire Jean Louis Gasset?

The dismissal of Jean Louis Gasset happened shortly after Ivory Coast’s humiliating 4-0 loss to Equatorial Guinea.

The Ivory Coast Football Federation announced in a media release that they had “terminated the contract” due to unsatisfactory results, stating, “The contracts of the Elephants Coach Jean Louis Gasset and his deputy Ghislain Marie Joseph were terminated for insufficient results in accordance with the objective contract which linked them to the FIF.”

The federation also confirmed that the former Bordeaux manager will be replaced by Emerse Fae, a former player for Reading in the Premier League. Fae will now lead The Elephants, who secured a spot in the knockout stages after Morocco’s 1-0 win over Zambia ensured Ivory Coast’s progression. In the Round of 16, they will face title holders Senegal, who won all three of their group stage games.

Ivory Coast’s performance under Jean Louis Gasset in AFCON

Ivory Coast’s performances under Jean Louis Gasset have been mostly underwhelming, ever since he was appointed in the May of 2022. In the current edition of the AFCON Cup, Ivory Coast has accumulated only three points. They secured a victory against Guinea-Bissau but suffered defeats, losing 1-0 to Nigeria and facing a surprising 4-0 defeat to minnows Equatorial Guinea..

Regarding the 4-0 defeat, he said, “I didn’t feel any tension among my players at the start of the match, it was in line with our plan, to try to dominate them, set the pace and open the score. We were surprised on the counterattack. In football, efficiency is essential, and the opponent gave us a lesson in realism.”

Jean Louis Gasset
Ivory Coast’s form in AFCON has been woeful.

Gasset has been a largely unpopular figure, primarily due to his inability to secure a place for Ivory Coast in the 2022 Qatar World Cup. Their campaign concluded with a 1-0 loss to Cameroon in a highly anticipated West African showdown.

Additionally, they were eliminated from the Nations Cup by Egypt, losing 5-4 on penalties after a 0-0 draw. Consequently, his termination doesn’t come as a surprise to many.

Do you think that Ivory Coast can beat Senegal and move into the later stages of the tournament? Let us know in the comments below!

SZ Desk

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