Michel Dussuyer has resigned as coach following the Elephants’ miserable title defense at the Nations Cup, the Ivorian federation confirmed on Sunday.
The West Africans headed into the ongoing continental showpiece in Gabon among the favourites to retain the title they won in Equatorial Guinea two years ago.
However, they were eliminated after draws with Togo and the Democratic Republic of Congo, as well as Tuesday’s defeat by Morocco in Oyem.
“The manager of the Elephants of the Cote d’Ivoire, Michel Dussuyer, has handed in his resignation on Sunday January 29,” read a statement on the federation’s website [www.fedivoir.com].
“The President and the Executive Committee of the Ivorian Football Federation (FIF) who have acted upon his decision, salute his ‘professionalism’ and his ‘humility’.”
Dussuyer’s resignation brings to an end his 18 months at the helm of the national side, with the Frenchman having taken over in July 2015 following Herve Renard’s departure.
While the 57-year-old inherited the African champions, and managed to integrate a new generation of talents such as Franck Kessie, Jean Seri and latterly, Wilfried Zaha, into the squad, he has been unable to continue the momentum of Renard’s reign and replace the likes of retired Yaya Toure and injured Gervinho.
Intriguingly, Dussuyer’s final match against Morocco in Oyem was his first defeat with the Elephants, with his record upon his departure standing at played 17, won eight, drawn eight, lost one, with a win ratio of 47 percent.
The former goalkeeper has considerable experience of the African game, having managed Guinea-Bissau (on three occasions) and Benin before taking the reins at the Elephants.
His finest achievements arguably came in taking the Syli Nationale to the quarter-finals of the Nations Cup in 2004 and 2015.
The Ivorian statement, attributed to federation president Augustin Sidy Diallo, also acknowledged Dussuyer’s “human qualities, engagement, professionalism, humility and discretion” during his tenure with the West Africans.
By Ed Dove
@EddyDove on Twitter