AFCON 2023: Hosts Ivory Coast fail in bid to appoint Renard as coach

Africa Cup of Nations hosts Ivory Coast have failed in a remarkable bid to appoint Herve Renard as coach for the remainder of the tournament after the French Football Federation (FFF) refused to release him.

The FFF confirmed to AFP that they were not willing to loan the 55-year-old, who is currently the coach of the France women’s team.

Talks had taken place between the Ivorian Football Federation and their French counterparts in an attempt to bring in Renard midway through the Cup of Nations.

Renard enjoys great popularity in Ivory Coast after leading the team to the 2015 African title.

He also won the competition with Zambia in 2012 and has managed Morocco and Angola.

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Yet he is under contract as coach of the French women’s team through to the end of this year’s Paris Olympics, and Les Bleues also have a UEFA Nations League semifinal to play against Germany in Lyon on February 23.

The Ivorians had hoped to have Renard on the bench for their last-16 tie against reigning champions Senegal on Monday, while the AFCON final takes place on February 11.

The Elephants squeezed into the last 16 as a best third-placed team after a group stage in which they defeated Guinea-Bissau 2-0 before losing 1-0 to Nigeria and 4-0 to Equatorial Guinea.

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Jean-Louis Gasset was sacked as coach on Wednesday due to the team’s unconvincing form, with former player Emerse Fae named as interim boss.

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