Keshi in frame for Ivorian job

13 August 2006 at 22:49 | 1084 views

By James Copnall
BBC Sport, Abidjan

The Ivorian football Federation (FIF) has released a list of 25 people that have applied to manage the national side.

Notable names on the list include former DR Congo boss Claude Le Roy, Stephen Keshi(photo), the former Togo boss and Frenchman Robert Nouzaret, who managed the Ivorian side on two occasions.

One surprise name on the list is Cesar Luis Menotti, who won the World Cup with his native Argentina in 1978.

There are also a handful of former internationals, including the Italian Franco Baresi and German Jurgen Kohler.

Gordon Igesund, who has won South African titles with different clubs, has also thrown his hat into the ring, as well as former Chelsea first-team coach Graham Rix.

But FIF president Jacques Anouma has made it clear he will not restrict himself to those on the list.

FIF officials have asked the former France international Basile Boli, who is of Ivorian origin, to identify candidates in Europe.

The Ivorian press has also speculated that coaches such as Frenchmen Guy Roux and Luis Fernandez, Italian Arrigo Sacchi, Spaniard Vicente Del Bosque and the Dutchman Leo Beenhakker have been contacted or have made their interest in the job known.

All have huge experience in the European game, a pre-requisite for whoever runs the Elephants these days.

But the popular choice and press favourite is Philippe Troussier.

Troussier made ASEC the dominant force in Ivorian football, briefly coaching the national team before moving on to Nigeria, Burkina Faso, South Africa, Qatar and Japan.

He has not applied officially, but is understood to be under consideration.

A new coach is expected to be appointed by FIF on 25 August.

In the meantime, Frenchman Gerard Gili - assistant Ivorian coach at the World Cup finals - will take charge of the 16 August friendly against Senegal.

Gili is considered to have an outside chance of getting the job full time.

List of coaches who have applied for the Ivorian job: Patrice Neveu, Robert Nouzaret, Graham Rix, Ivo Sajh-Scheich, Pierre Lechantre, Charles Roessli, Gordon Igesund, Laurent Fournier, Josef Csaplar, Paul Dolezar, Franco Baresi, Stewart John Hall, Olguin Jorge Mario, Angel Cappa, Horacio Javier Bidevich, Diego Cruciani, Lucien Favre, Cesar Luis Menotti, Jurgen Kohler, Francesco Moreiro, Alan Moizan, Tom Saintfiet, Claude Le Roy, Stephen Keshi, Antonio Di Gennaro.