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AFCON: Ivory Coast bid to ‘loan’ Renard from France fails

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Renard led Ivory Coast to the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) title in 2015

Host nation Ivory Coast failed to land Hervé Renard “on loan” from the France women’s team for the rest of the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON).

Renard led Ivory Coast to the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) title in 2015, and the country’s soccer federation was keen to bring him back for another attempt after firing his compatriot Jean-Louis Gasset on Wednesday.

But talks with the French federation over a possible loan deal for Renard broke down without agreement on Thursday.

“The negotiations did not finish favourably; it’s because it shouldn’t have been,” 55-year-old Renard told broadcaster Canal Plus. “I’d have loved it, but fate chose otherwise.”

Ivory Coast failed to secure automatic qualification for the knockout stage when they lost 4-0 to Equatorial Guinea in their final group game Monday, though they still had a chance to advance as one of the four best third-place finishers.

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Ivory Coast ultimately qualified for the last 16 on Wednesday, after Gasset was fired, thanks to Morocco’s victory over Zambia.

Franck Kessie, left, comforts team-mate Simon Adingra after Ivory Coast’s heavy defeat

Franck Kessie, left, comforts team-mate Simon Adingra after Ivory Coast’s heavy defeat (Sunday Alamba/AP)

Interim coach Emerse Faé will likely stay in charge for the game against defending champion Senegal in Yamoussoukro on Monday.

The Ivorian Football Federation has not commented publicly on the matter.

Renard is still popular in Ivory Coast for leading the country to its second Africa Cup title. It was his second title after coaching Zambia to the trophy in 2012.

He led Saudi Arabia to a shock World Cup victory over eventual champion Argentina before taking over the France women’s team last year.

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