Invited on Saturday March 5, 2022 to the sports forum called « O’Ballon », journalist Moussa Traoré defended the idea of a local technician at the head of the Elephants of Côte d’Ivoire at the end of the contract of the current coach, the Frenchman Patrice Beaumelle. The former president of the union of journalists of Côte d’Ivoire, founder of the NGO fellow journalists and football lovers thinks
that it is « time to courageously dare to hire a local technician and set up a long and medium-term project. That said, Côte d’Ivoire has men and talents capable of leading the Elephants ». Below, his entire introductory speech during this exchange with sports journalists.
Dear sisters and brothers
Dear sports friends,
First of all, I would like to introduce myself to those who do not know me. I have been a journalist since 1998. I have held all positions in an editorial office, journalist, head of department, editorial secretary, chief editor, editorial director and publication director. I was president of the National Union of Journalists of Côte d’Ivoire from 2012 to 2019. I was a member of the Steering Committee of the African Federation of Journalists from 2016 to 2019. I am one of those who give the notes for the world ranking of Reporter Without Borders. I am the President of the NGO Confreres Journalistes. And finally, I am an Officer in the National Order of Merit and an Officer in the Order of Communication Merit.
I give all this information so that my service records are known so that no one is mistaken about my account and my ambition for my country.
Today, I am before you in my capacity as a simple supporter of the Elephants, as a simple citizen observer of the Ivorian sports microcosm.
What I concern myself ?
I, who am not a member of any sports body, am not close to any club leader. I do not know of any candidate for the presidency of the FIF. I don’t know any senior Conor-Fif official. I don’t know any player from the national football team. I don’t know any trainer. Like the majority of supporters, I go to the stadium regularly when the Ivorian teams play. I watch them on television when they are outside like during the last AFCON.
Being equidistant from all the actors of Ivorian football and having no interest with anyone, I have the legitimacy to speak and express my opinion freely.
Can 2021 has just ended in Cameroon with the elimination of my country, Côte d’Ivoire in the round of 16. Before that, we were miserably eliminated from the next World Cup which will be played in Qatar.
When I look in the rear view mirror, I realize that in recent years, our national team has seen several technicians pass by. I realize that we are not part of the long term. We are in a hurry and we want immediate results with turnkey trainers, able to provide us here and now with the Holy Grail. What a gross mistake!
When I watch the waltz of the coaches, I realize that a few locals and a large number of expatriates led the Elephants. In terms of results, the detailed balance sheet gives this.
Since the establishment of the national football team in 1960, it has known 36 coaches. There are 21 expatriate technicians, 2 of whom have returned twice. 12 are from France, 3 from Germany, 2 from Brazil, 1 from Poland, 1 from Bosnia-Herzegovina, 1 from Sweden, 1 from Belgium.
10 are from the Ivory Coast. Of the 10 Ivorians, Yéo Martial won the CAN in 1992; Kamara Ibrahim won the CAN des cadets in 2013; Kouadio Georges won the UEMOA trophy in 2008; Mama Ouattara, CAN Junior vice-champion in 2003.
Alain Gouaméné won the Toulon Tournament in 2010 with the national hope team
I realize that the expatriate technicians, better paid than our ministers and presidents of institutions, with an envelope of 30 to 45 million francs per month, do not always have results commensurate with the financial sacrifices made by the State.
Of the 21 expatriates. Hervé Renard won a Can. Henri Michel qualified the country for the 2006 World Cup, in 2010 it was Vahid and in 2014 Lamouchi. And all of them were unable to cross the first lap. Just figurative.
As a result of the above, I think it is time, high time to think differently about our king sport.
We must :
-Make viable projects that are sustainable.
– Trust those of us who already have the technical skills.
-Train local technicians
We must be inspired by the Senegalese example with Aliou Cissé who, after seven years of hard work, offered the first continental title to the Lions of Teranga.
As the term of technician Patrice Beaumelle at the head of the Elephants comes to an end, I think it is time to courageously dare to use a local technician and set up a long and medium-term project. That said, Côte d’Ivoire has men and talents capable of leading the Elephants.
I think particularly and especially of Kolo Touré Habib who was assistant coach of the Elephants, who is currently the assistant coach of a major club in the English championship, who was captain of the Elephants, who won the African Cup and who has played in all the major stadiums in the world.
I am thinking of Kamara Ibrahim, who brought Côte d’Ivoire to the quarter-finals of the Can and who won a cup in the junior category.
I am thinking of Zahui François who sent Côte d’Ivoire to the Can final without conceding a single goal.
Beyond these, we can send former footballers for training.
So let’s put aside our little quarrels inherent in all community life and think first and foremost of the Nation. Let’s open our eyes wide.
As much as no Western country has yet taken on an African technician to coach their national team, I hope that we will put an end to the « mercenary » at the head of our national teams.
I wish every success to all the candidates for the presidency of the FIF. May the best win. But let the winner know that the overwhelming majority of Ivorians are tired of seeing expatriates fail at the head of our national team 60 years after independence. The world has changed, we must change.
Saying so, I am not against anyone. I’m not on a mission for anyone. Only my happiness to support « mazo » concerns me. I don’t hold the infused science but I think in all sincerity that this is what is best for my country.
Here are African teams that currently have local technicians. Let’s do like them.
– Algeria (Djamel Belmadi, appointed since August 1, 2018)
– Burundi (Olivier Niyungeko, appointed since July 2016)
– Cameroon (Rigobert Song, appointed since February 18, 2022)
– Cape Verde (Pedro Leitao, appointed since January 29, 2020)
– Eritrea (Alemseged Efrem, appointed since 2015)
– Ethiopia (Wubetu Abate, appointed since September 28, 2020)
– Ghana (Otto Addo, appointed since February 9, 2022)
– Guinea Bissau (Baciro Candé, appointed since January 2017)
– Equatorial Guinea (Rodolfo Bodipo, appointed since September 17, 2020)
– Mali (Mohamed Magassouba, appointed since October 23, 2019)
– Namibia (Bobby Samaria, interim)
– Nigeria (Emmanuel Amunike, appointed since February 2022)
– Rwanda (Vincent Mashami, appointed since August 18, 2018)
– Senegal (Aliou Cissé, appointed since March 5, 2015)
– Sierra Leone: John Keister, appointed since August 10, 2020)
– Sudan (Burthan Tiya, appointed since December 13, 2021)
– Tunisia (Jalel Kadri, appointed since January 31, 2022)
– Zimbabwe (Norman Mapeza, appointed since September 15, 2021)
Far be it from chauvinism but the implacable reality is that elsewhere in the world, coaches are not imported. Each leads the team of his country.
– Argentina (Lionel Scaloni, appointed since August 2, 2018
– Brazil (Tite, since June 21, 2016)
– Uruguay (Diego Alonso, appointed since December 15, 2021)
– Germany (Hans-Dieter Flick, appointed since August 1, 2021)
– England (Gareth Southgate, appointed since September 27, 2016)
– Spain (Luis Enrique, appointed since November 19, 2019)
– France (Didier Deschamps, appointed since July 8, 2012)
– Italy (Roberto Mancini, appointed since May 14, 2018)
– Netherlands (Louis Van Gaal, appointed since July 22, 2021)
– Portugal (Fernando Santos, appointed since September 23, 2014)
– Russia (Valeri Karpin, appointed since July 23, 2021)
Finally, I give you the list of all those who have trained the Elephants since independence so that everyone asks the right questions. And that we all mobilize to say: “No, that’s enough! »
1960: Paul Gévaudan
AFCON 1965: Alphonse Bissouma Tapé
1967-1968: Paul Gévaudan
1968-1970: Peter Schnittger
1970-1972: Jean Tokpa
1972-1974: Santa Rosa41
1974-1980: Gerard Gabo
1982-1985: Otto Pfister
1984: David Duque Ferreira
1985-1986: Pancho Gonzales
1987-1988: Martial Yeo
1989: Kaé Oulaï (interim)
1989-1992: Radivoje Ognjanovic
1992-1993: Martial Yeo
1993-1994: Philippe Troussier
1994-1996: Henryk Kasperczak
1996-1998: Pierre Pleimelding
1998-2000: Robert Nouzaret
2000: Gbonké Tia (interim)
2000-2001: Patrick Parison
2001-2002: Lama Bamba
2002-2004: Robert Nouzaret
2004-2007: Henri Michel
2007-2008: Ulrich Stielike
2008: Gérard Gili (interim)
2008-2010: Vahid Halilhodzic
2010: Georges Kouadio (interim)
2010: Sven-Goran Eriksson
2010-2012: Francois Zahoui
2012-2014: Sabri Lamouchi
2014-2015: Hervé Renard
2015-2017: Michel Dussuyer
March 2017-November 2017: Marc Wilmots
2018-2020: Ibrahim Kamara
Since March 2020: Patrice Beaumelle
Thank you for your attention, thank you for understanding my initiative and my approach. I am available for any constructive criticism.