Keshi Exempted from a 5-Man Shortlist for Ivory Coast Job

Nigeria national team coach, Stephen Keshi, has not been named among a 5-man shortlist for the vacant Côte d’Ivoire national team job.

The Ivory Coast football federation (FIF) had, on Friday, 19 June published names of 59 peoples to have disclosed interest in the race to succeed Herve Reinard, with the 53-year-old’s name popping up- though the page was later taken down from the federation’s website.

A committee set up by the FIF to conduct a search for a substantive national team manager has trimmed that list to five men, including Patrice Neveu, Paolo Duarte, Michel Dussuyer, Henry Kasperczak and Frederic Antonetti.

An investigation by the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) had ordered Keshi to appear before a disciplinary committee. And while the coach’s manager, Emmanuel Ado, had not been able to calm down the storm in a lengthy Facebook statement, Keshi himself stood before the NFF committee a week ago to categorically deny applying to the Côte d’Ivoire coaching position after he had signed a new two-year contract as coach of the Super Eagles in April.

The NFF were expected to write to their Ivory Coast counterparts to demand for explanation for intending to nab a coach with an existing contract.

Stephen Keshi Led the Super Eagles to Afcon 2013 Success. Image: BackPagePix via Caf.
Stephen Keshi Led the Super Eagles to Afcon 2013 Success. Image: BackPagePix via Caf.

It is yet to be confirmed, who actually filed an “indication of intention” on behalf of the ex-Mali and Togo’s coach as per “the June 15 deadline for submission of application,” according to a statement on the FIF website.

As highlighted by the FIF, candidates are “required to hold a high-level coaching diploma, to have a good international experience, to be willing to live in Ivory Coast during the duration of the contract, to have a great capacity for adaptation and ability to teamwork and able to speak French.”

The FIF have, nonetheless, found the aforementioned qualities in the five shortlisted managers. French coach, Neveu, 61, was sacked as manager of Mauritanian national team in August.

Portuguese and TP Mazembe coach, Duarte, led Burkina Faso to the group stages of the 2010 and 2012 Africa Cup of Nations and was recently named among contenders for the Sfaxien job.

Former Nice and Rennes coach Antonetti has been out of management since quitting the Roazhon Park.

Former Poland international, Kasperczak, 68, was in charge of Les Elephante between 1993 and 1994, guiding the side to a third-placed finish at the 1994 Afcon in Tunisia, following defeat in the semi-finals (via penalties) by Nigeria.

He led Tunisia to a runners-up berth in South Africa two years later, and was in charge of the North African nation at the 1996 Summer Olympic and the 1998 FIFA World Cup in France; getting the sack after their opening 1-1 draw with Romania. He also led Mali to a fourth-placed finish on home soil in 2002.

Guinea coach Dussuyer, 56, led Benin Republic national side to the 2010 Afcon.

The list will subsequently be shortened to just three men, where from Reinard’s successor will emerge.

New LOSC Lille coach Reinard led Côte d’Ivoire to their second Afcon title in Equatorial Guinea earlier this year, but opted against extending his contract to join the French Ligue 1 club.

Former Nigeria international, Keshi, played for two Ivorian clubs Stade d’Abidjan and Africa Sports between 1985 and 1986 and is one of two managers to have won the Afcon both as a player and as a coach.