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African World Cup hopefuls change coaches

13 May 2012 12:47:02

African World Cup hopefuls change coaches

Mali, Senegal and Tanzania have changed coaches just three weeks before the second phase of 2014 World Cup qualifiers kicks off in Africa.

Former France star Alain Giresse has left 2012 Africa Cup of Nations bronze medalists Mali over contract renewal disagreements and been replaced by assistant Amadou Pathe Diallo.

Compatriot Pierre Lechantre says he will not replace sacked Amara Traore as coach of Senegal after a demand for six months' salary in advance was turned down, and the post has gone to local Joseph Koto.

Kim Poulsen takes over from fellow Dane Jan Poulsen, who was fired just before ending his two-year contract having failed to lift Tanzania out of doldrums.

Mali visit Benin and host Algeria in World Cup qualifiers next month, Senegal entertain Liberia and travel to Uganda and Tanzania are away to Ivory Coast and at home to Gambia.

Tanzania must also face Mozambique in a 2013 Cup of Nations qualifier during June while Mali and Senegal have byes into the final round scheduled for September and October.

Giresse worked wonders with a Malian squad that has lost stalwarts Mahamadou Diarra, Mohamed Sissoko and Frederic Kanoute in recent years and exceeded expectations by coming third behind Zambia and Ivory Coast at the Nations Cup.

"In spite of our concessions on points of disagreement, Alain Giresse did not wish to sign a new contract with the federation," Malian official Moussa Konate told reporters in Bamako.

Areas of disagreement reportedly included officials wanting to approve national squad lists and choose medical staff, and the telephone bills of 1984 European Championship-winning midfielder Giresse.

"I received my contract last week, but I did not have the necessary guarantees to carry out my mission to lead the national team of Senegal," explained 2000 Cameroon Cup of Nations-winning coach Lechantre.

Traore was axed after a Senegalese side that went to the 2012 Cup of Nations as third favourites made a humiliating first round exit following losses to Zambia, co-hosts Equatorial Guinea and Libya.

The exit of Jan Poulsen was no surprise with the Taifa Stars slumping 33 places to 145 on the FIFA world rankings during his reign and Kim Poulsen takes over after a spell with the Tanzanian youth and junior squads.


AFP

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