Côte d'Ivoire: Controversy as Manager of National Football Team Replaced

[All links forward to French texts unless otherwise stated]

On Monday May 28, 2012, the Ivorian Football Federation (FIF) announced a change at the top of the national football team:

La Fédération Ivoirienne de Football informe de ce que, à partir de ce jour, Monsieur Sabri LAMOUCHI est nommé Sélectionneur et Entraîneur de l’Equipe nationale A, en remplacement de Monsieur François ZAHOUI.

The FIF informed us that from today, Sabri Lamouchi is named Coach and Manager of the National A Team, replacing François Zahoui.

Sabri Lamouchi and Didier Drodgba during the introduction of the new Côte d'Ivoire football coach

This announcement unleashed a wave of reaction in the Ivorian press as well on the internet and social networks. On his blog, Cyriac Gbogou wondered:

Pourquoi Zahoui François a t-il été limogé?

Why has François Zahoui been dismissed?

A Facebook page demanding the return of François Zahoui has been created. Similarly, An Internet petition to say ‘No’ to Lamouchi has even seen the light of day.  Bamba Moussa invites Internet users to read the petition:

@Be_hem: Si toi aussi tu n'aime pas les foutaises de la FIF http://fb.me/1sROmb5Uw 

@Be_hem: If you don't like this tripe from the FIF either http://fb.me/1sROmb5Uw 

On Twitter, the comments were not kind. The Ivoirans struggled to understand why the FIF replaced Zahoui with a less experienced manager, as shown in this tweet from Christian Roland:

@chroland: @ConstyBlack  @macmady mieux vaut un #zahoui‬ qui a des resultats qu'un lamouchi qui viens se faire la main

@chroland: @ConstyBlack  @macmady Better a #Zahoui who gets results than a Lamouchi who is less experienced.

Although some people believed Zahoui needed replaced, hardly anyone approved of the choice of Lamouchi, for example @Kadotien:

@Kadotien: @Lord225 je suis contre lamouchi sans etre pour Zahui. Zahui c syndrome domenech lamouchi c Zero #civ2010‬

@Kadotien: @Lord225 I am against Lamouchi without being for Zahoui. With Zahoui, it's Domenech syndrome, with Lamouchi, it's nothing #civ2010

or @Justice who complained:

@Justice: Alors qu'il n'a aucune expérience comme entraîneur, Sabri Lamouchi succède à François Zahoui à la tête de la #civ2010 ‬http://www.lequipe.fr/Football/Actua …

@Justice: Although he has no managerial experience, Sabri Lamouchi succeeds François Zahoui at the head of the #civi2010 team.

This FIF video reports on the end of François Zahoui's tenure at the head of the Elephants of Côte d'Ivoire:

The series of complaints continued with this from Lord225 who condemned these impetuous replacements of managers by the FIF:

On ne construit pas une équipe forte en remplaçant l'entraîneur après chaque compétition #civ2010‬ #foot‬ #zahoui‬

You can't build a strong team by replacing the manager after each competition. #civi2010 #foot #zahoui

As for Antoine Mian, he was struggling to understand the thinking behind this decision:

@Mianseh: Je n ‘arrive pas à suivre la logique de la #FIF‬ RT @FernandDdeh @djiboua7 Zahoui a été remplacé par Sabri Lamouchi à la tête des Eléphants.

@Mianseh: I can't follow the logic of the #FIF RT @FernandDdeh @djiboua7 Zahoui has been replaced by Sabri Lamouchi as the head of the Elephants.

At the time of writing, reactions follow reactions and on the official page of the FIF announcing this change, the indignant comments continue.

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