AFCON 2023: 5 coaches axed after group stage games

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Ghana’s English head coach Chris Hughton looks on during the Africa Cup of Nations (CAN) 2024 group B football match between Egypt and Ghana at the Felix Houphouet-Boigny Stadium in Abidjan on January 18, 2024. (Photo by Issouf SANOGO / AFP) (Photo by ISSOUF SANOGO/AFP via Getty Images)

The group stage games at the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) ended on Wednesday night as Morocco beat Zambia while Tanzania held DR Congo to a draw.

Morocco’s victory meant good news for hosts Ivory Coast as they qualified as one of the four best losers.

However, for some coaches, the tournament has not been the best for them and they have had to face the sack or resign as a result.

Here are the five coaches who have fallen victim so far from the competition:

The Irish trainer was shown the exit by the Ghana Football Association on Tuesday night, shortly after the Black Stars’ elimination was officially confirmed. Hughton led Ghana to the tournament in Ivory Coast but could only amass two points from a possible nine.

Despite Ivory Coast sealing a spot in the next round of the competition, head coach Jean-Louis Gasset has also been relieved of his duties. The Frenchman steered the Elephants to just one win from three games in the group stage. They suffered back-to-back defeats against Nigeria and Equatorial Guinea, meaning they finished third in the group.

Following Gambia’s failure to qualify from their group at this year’s AFCON, Tom Saintfiet announced during the press conference at the end of the game against Cameroon he has stepped down from his role as head coach. The Scorpions lost all of their group games and failed to claim a point this year having progressed from the first round two years ago.

After five years in charge of the national team, Djamel Belmadi resigned from his role as the head coach of the Algeria national team after crashing out of the group stage for the second consecutive time since winning the trophy in 2019. An agreement with the Algerian FA was reached for the Belmadi to leave the role after the latest setback.

With Tunisia also failing to make it past the group stage, Jalel Kadri, stepped down from his duty as the head coach of the Cartilage Eagles on Wednesday. The North African side finished bottom of their group after taking only two points from their three games played.

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