AFCON 2023 has undoubtedly been a rollercoaster of emotions, with thrilling matches, unexpected upsets, and heart-wrenching disappointments.
While the continental tournament has showcased the prowess of many teams, it has also witnessed the untimely departures of six high-profile managers.
In this article, we take a look at some of the managers who have been shown the exit door, shedding light on the circumstances that led to their abrupt exits.
Adel Amrouche – Tanzania
Adel Amrouche’s tenure as Tanzania’s head coach came to an abrupt end, leaving fans and pundits alike puzzled. What led to his dismissal was an eight-game ban and a fine imposed by the Confederation of African Football (CAF) following his outrageous comments about Morocco.
On a lighter note, it seems like Amrouche finds it difficult to control his mouth, as he committed a similar offense in 2014 when he was accused of spitting at the fourth official, which saw him suspended for one year as Kenya’s head coach.
Despite leading the Taifa Stars to the AFCON tournament, Amrouche’s disciplinary issues off the field overshadowed his on-field achievements. The decision to part ways with him suggests a commitment to upholding the principles of fair play and sportsmanship.
Chris Hughton – Ghana
Ghana’s early exit from AFCON 2023 proved to be a major setback for a team that had high expectations. English-born Chris Hughton faced the brunt of the disappointment as he was relieved of his duties following Ghana’s lackluster performance in the group stages.
Failing to secure a single victory and finishing with a mere two points, Ghana’s underwhelming campaign prompted the football association to make a managerial change.
Hughton’s departure serves as a stark reminder of the ruthless nature of football management, where results often dictate the fate of coaches.
Jean-Louis Gasset – Ivory Coast
The Ivory Coast national team faced a humiliating defeat at the hands of Equatorial Guinea, losing 4-0 and teetering on the brink of elimination. Jean-Louis Gasset, the man at the helm, paid the price for this ignominious loss as he was swiftly shown the door.
The defeat not only shattered Ivory Coast’s hopes of progressing further but also exposed tactical shortcomings that ultimately led to Gasset’s dismissal.
The decision to part ways with the coach reflects the intense pressure and expectations associated with managing a national team in a prestigious tournament like the AFCON.
Djamel Belmadi – Algeria
Algeria endured a disappointing campaign in AFCON 2023, finishing at the bottom of their group with just two points. Djamel Belmadi, who had previously led Algeria to glory, bid farewell to his position as the manager of the national team.
The departure marked the end of an era for Belmadi, as the team struggled to replicate the success of their previous AFCON triumph.
The decision to part ways with a successful coach underscores the demanding nature of international football, where past achievements may not shield managers from the consequences of recent failures.
Tom Saintfiet – Gambia
Tom Saintfiet faced the harsh reality of football management as he bid farewell to his role as the Gambia national team’s head coach. Gambia’s underwhelming performance in the group stages, finishing at the bottom with zero points, contributed to the Belgian’s departure.
Despite the team’s lack of experience on the continental stage, expectations were high, and the failure to secure even a single point proved too costly for Saintfiet.
His exit highlights the unforgiving nature of football management, where even the most well-intentioned coaches may find themselves on the chopping block.
Jalel Kadri – Tunisia
Jalel Kadri’s resignation as Tunisia’s manager came on the heels of a shambolic performance in AFCON 2023. The Carthage Eagles finished at the bottom of their group with just two points, prompting Kadri to step down.
The decision reflects the coach’s acknowledgment of the team’s shortcomings under his guidance. It also highlights the self-awareness and accountability that some managers demonstrate when faced with disappointing results.