French born football technician Herve Renard was on Thursday named coach of Ivory Coast national team. The ex-Zambian head coach was given a 2 year renewable contract.
The 45 year old who has replaced countryman Sabri Lamouchi, was selected from a three-man shortlist which also included former Sporting and Benfica coach Jose Manuel De Jesus from Portugal and Frederic Antonetti.
“We were looking for a competent coach, loyal and has already proved something,” Ivorian FA president Augustin Sidy Diallo told fif-ci.com.
“Hervé presented the best profile and met our criteria” Diallo added.
The former defender, who led Zambia to victory against Ivory Coast at the 2012 Africa Cup of Nation in Gabon, has been tasked with qualifying the Elephants to the upcoming 2015 Afcon in Morocco.
Reports say that many locals and editorialists had rooted for Ivorian Francois Zahoui, whose application was kicked out in the first phase of screening along with 32 other candidates who applied for the job.
“Zahoui was the clear choice of many Ivorians because he had a wonderful run at the 2012 Afcon,” Serge Kanga, editor-in-chief of sports daily Fanon told supersport.com.
“They have just brought in another foreign hand, who has been given objective to win titles. But what we really need is the development of our grassroots football and Zahoui was the best person because he knows the land in and out,” Kanga added.
Renard was in charge of underdog Zambia when it upset the Ivorians in the final of the African Cup of Nations two years ago