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Ivory Coast's Coach Jean-Louis Gasset sacked after humiliating defeat

Jean-Louis Gasset during the CAN 2023 Group A match between Côte d'Ivoire   -  
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Ivory Coast

Ivory Coast coach Jean-Louis Gasset has been fired despite the team still having a chance of qualifying for the Africa Cup of Nations knockout stage.

The Ivorian Football Federation (FIF) said Wednesday that it was terminating the contracts of the French coach and his assistant "for insufficient results in accordance to the contract of objectives they had with the FIF."

Former Ivory Coast midfielder Emerse Faé was to take charge of the team on an interim basis.

Ivory Coast is hosting the Africa Cup but failed to secure automatic qualification to the tournament's knockout stage when it was beaten 4-0 by Equatorial Guinea in its final group game on Monday.

"There are sometimes nightmare matches, matches where everything seems to be against you," Gasset said after the game. "A catastrophic scenario."

It was Ivory Coast's heaviest ever home defeat at the Africa Cup.

It left the Elephants with just three points from three group games and reliant on results in other groups to finish among the best four third-place finishers for a place in the last 16.

Equatorial Guinea finished top of Group A with seven points, ahead of Nigeria on goal difference.

Wednesday's final group games in Groups E and F were to determine whether the host nation could squeeze into the knockout stage.

Gasset reportedly tendered his resignation to the president of the FIF, Yacine Idriss Diallo, right after the loss to Equatorial Guinea. The 70-year-old coach had been in charge since 2022, when he took over from compatriot Patrice Beaumelle after the team failed to qualify for the World Cup.

Monday's defeat prompted some irate Ivorian fans to vandalize commuter buses outside the stadium.

"The Ivorian Football Federation expresses its regret for the progress of the Elephants during the group stage of AFCON 2023," FIF said in a statement. "However, it remains convinced of the potential of our football team, and calls on everyone to unite for all the challenges ahead."

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