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At last Cote D’Ivoire FA opted for a local hand…

Cote D’Ivoire football federation (FIF) on Saturday 21 August named former national team forward and current interim coach François Zahoui, 49, as the Elephants head coach, hence succeeding Swedish-born manager Sven Goran Eriksson, who led the West African team to the 2010 World Cup.

A statement published on the FIF website, the body’s Executive Committee, says: “We have the pleasure to inform the local and international community that Mr François Zahoui, formerly coach of the national junior team, has been selected by the FIF as the new national coach of Cote D’Ivoire.”

Zahoui was handed a two-year contract starting from 21 August 2010. The FIF called on all Ivorians to support the new coach and the national team.

Zahoui saw his modest popularity soar in Cote D’Ivoire after leading the Elephants to a win over Italy in a London friendly earlier this month. He is currently in Europe meeting Ivorian professionals and in search of assistants to consolidate his coaching team, according to reports.

Cote D’Ivoire will kick off their 2012 AFCON qualifiers early September in Group H alongside Rwanda, Benin and Burundi.

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