22 July 2014 10:52
Ivory Coast officials have revealed a five-man shortlist as they seek to appoint Sabri Lamouchi’s successor as the country’s head coach.
Francis Gillot, Frederic Antonetti, Herve Renard, Jose Manuel De Jesus and Luis Fernandez are the men being considered by the Ivorian Football Federation (FIF).
Lamouchi stepped down from his role after Ivory Coast failed to reach the knockout rounds of World Cup for the third straight tournament.
Drawn against Colombia, Japan and Greece in Group C, Lamouchi’s side opened their campaign with a 2-1 win over the Asian nation before defeats to Colombia and Greece, the latter via Georgios Samaras’ injury-time penalty, sent them out.
Of those shortlisted to take the job, only Renard and Fernandez have previous international experience.
Fernandez managed Israel in an unsuccessful qualification campaign for UEFA Euro 2012, but Renard is well-known to African supporters, having led Zambia to a memorable 2012 Africa Cup of Nations triumph.
The five were whittled down from a total of 37 applicants, including former Italy and Republic of Ireland boss Giovanni Trapattoni, France legend Didier Six and Ruud Krol – a World Cup finalist in his playing days and ex-coach of African clubs in Egypt, South Africa and Tunisia.
None of the six Ivorian applications were considered further, but FIF president Djedje Benjamin refuted any suggestion that their nationality had played a role.
He said: “I will not go into the details but I can say that candidates who have been selected are consistent with the criteria required by the application process.”
The chosen candidate’s first task will be to qualify Ivory Coast for the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations.
Cameroon and Congo DR stand in their way in Group D of qualifying as well as the winner of Benin and Malawi’s play-off clash.