Africa Cup of Nations host Ivory Coast learned it was advancing to the round of 16 after its games in the group stage ended. Before them, the African side sacked manager Jean-Louis Gasset. Following their ignominious 4-0 defeat to Equatorial Guinea, the Ivorian Football Federation (FIF) axed Gasset and his assistant.

Ivory Coast has never suffered such a crushing home loss. The Elephants’ chances of advancing to the last 16 were severely diminished after the defeat. Interim coach Emerse Fae will replace the 70-year-old Gasset, who was sacked for “insufficient results,” according to a statement.

“The Federation Ivoirienne de Football expresses its regrets for the performance of the Elephants during the group phase of the AFCON 2023. However, it remains convinced of the potential of our football team and calls for the unity of all for the upcoming events,” they said.

How did Ivory Coast fare in AFCON Group Stage?

With a 2-0 victory against Guinea-Bissau and a 1-0 loss to Nigeria, Ivory Coast ended with three points in Group A after the pool round. After 48 hours, however, they were able to secure a spot among the top third-place teams when Morocco beat Zambia.

In the round of 16, they will meet Senegal, the reigning champions who have won every game. In May 2022, the federation named Gasset as coach, and he went on to win 10 of his 17 matches. He replaced Patrice Beaumelle, and the Ivory Coast demanded better results than failure to qualify for the 2022 World Cup and elimination in the round of 16 at AFCON 2021. Gasset failed to live up to the requirements.

What did Herve Renard say of his possible move to the Ivory Coast?

Several sources state that the Ivory Coast FA sought to get the services of Herve Renard on loan for the duration of the competition. The 55-year-old is the current coach of the French women’s side.

After his stellar 2015 season, Ivory Coast were eager to have Renard back on their team. However, deal-making discussions with the French federation were unsuccessful.

For Renard, “the negotiations did not finish favorably” while speaking to Canal Plus. “It’s because it shouldn’t have been. I’d have loved it but fate chose otherwise,” he added.

The Frenchman’s ties to Les Bleues will continue to the Paris Olympics this year. Next month, France will also play in a crucial Nations League semi-final, therefore the FFF turned down the Ivorian proposal.

Ivory Coast will face holders Senegal next, and they were hoping Renard would lead their team again. However, all things considered, Fae will continue to lead the team on Monday.

No official statement has come out of the Ivorian Football Federation about this issue. Ivorians still remember Renard fondly as the man who guided their national team to a second African Cup victory.

After guiding Zambia to victory in 2012, this was his second championship. Before he took over the French women’s team last year, he guided Saudi Arabia to an unexpected World Cup triumph against Argentina, the eventual winner.