Ibrahim Kamara replaces Marc Wilmots as Ivory Coast coach

Ibrahim Kamara takes over the Elephants job on a two-year contract with an option of a further two years if he impresses

Kamara has been named the new Ivory Coast national team coach, replacing Belgian Marc Wilmots.

After Wilmots left his position in November following failure to qualify for the 2018 Fifa World Cup, the Ivorian Football Federation (FIF) has been hunting for a new coach.

Kamara’s immediate task would being qualifying the Elephants for next year’s Afcon finals to be staged in Cameroon.

A selection panel that includes FIF vice-president Sory Diabate, 1992 Afcon-winning Ivory Coast coach Yéo Martial, FIF president special advisor Djedje Benjamin and consultant Bakayoko Capit settled for Kamara from a list of three unnamed hopefuls.

If Kamara charms his FIF bosses in the first two years in charge, he could lead the Elephants at the 2021 Afcon which would be hosted by the Ivory Coast and possibly the Fifa World Cup in Qatar the following year.

“The Ivorian technician Kamara Ibrahim is the new coach of the Elephants of Ivory Coast,” said FIF in a statement.

“Kamara Ibrahim has been appointed for a renewable two-year contract which expires on June 30, 2020. The new Elephant coach aims to qualify the Elephants at Afcon 2019 and especially to prepare the group for Afcon 2021 whose organization was awarded to Côte d'Ivoire.”

Kamara is not new to the Elephants technical set-up having worked as assistant coach under Frenchman Herve Renard and Michel Dussuyer, winning the 2015 Afcon title with the former.

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He has also been coach of the home-based Ivory Coast national team as well as the Under-23 Olympic side.

Since Francois Zahoui left in 2012, Ivory Coach has not had a local coach until Kamara’s appointment.

The Elephants visit Rwanda in September in their next Afcon 2019 assignment, having awfully kicked off their Group H qualifying campaign with a 3-2 home loss to Guinea.