Frenchman Renard quits as Ivory Coast boss

Reuters , Friday 22 May 2015

Herve Renard
French coach Herve Renard (Photo: Reuters)

Herve Renard has stood down as coach of African Nations Cup winners Ivory Coast to pave the way for a move to Ligue 1 side Lille, the Frenchman announced on Friday.

The 46-year-old led Ivory Coast to only its second African Nations Cup title in Equatorial Guinea in February -- defeating neighbouring Ghana in a dramatic penalty shootout -- just two years after winning the title with unfancied Zambia.

French media reports have heavily linked Renard with a move to Ligue 1 side Lille and he cited a new challenge as the reason for his departure.

"My adventure with Ivory Coast was exceptional. And I sincerely think that the best moment to end our collaboration is after such a success," he told reporters in Ivory Coast's commercial capital Abidjan.

"In all likelihood, I'm going to Lille barring a catastrophe."

Renard will replace outgoing Rene Girard who will end his two-year stay at the Ligue 1 side, who sit in eighth place, following Saturday's match against Metz.

"I hope that my future club will allow me to advance to another level, and I hope, like any self-respecting coach, to one day participate in the European Champions League," Renard added.

Ivory Coast signed Renard to a two-year contract in August 2014, tasking him with improving the fortunes of a side including the likes of Yaya Toure, Wilfried Bony and Didier Drogba -- though the Chelsea forward retired before the African Nations Cup.

"We thank Mr Renard for our collaboration, for the work he did at the head of the national team," said Pierre Gondo, spokesman for the Ivorian Football Federation (FIF).

"We expressed to him our regret to see this collaboration end so soon."

Renard did not offer details concerning the intricacies of the termination of his contract, saying only that there would be discussions between his future club and the FIF.

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