Cote D’Ivoire minister backs under-fire coach Lamouchi

The Elephants’ coach has received support from the sports minister ahead of the World Cup amid calls for his replacement

Cote D’Ivoire sports minister Alain Lobognon has asked all and sundry to give the national team coach Sabri Lamouchi some peace ahead of the World Cup in Brazil in order for the Frenchman to focus on his job.

The 42-year-old former Inter Milan midfielder is facing criticism from pundits and fans, who suggest the coach lacks the required experience to lead the star studded Ivorian team to the World Cup.

Lamouchi took the job as a coach for the first time in 2012. However, he was able to lead the outfit to the quarterfinals of the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations and book a place at Brazil 2014, which the minister believes are enough to give him a chance.

“We cannot hire another coach at this time. Lamouchi has been on board and has been able to clinch our World Cup qualification, so I don’t see why we should sack him now,” Lobognon told reporters in Abidjan.

“I will also be in Brazil and will make sure he has the free hand to pick his players, but if that’s not the case I will let the whole country know that the coach is being influenced,” he said.

Lamouchi will publish his World Cup provisional list on Tuesday, May 13.