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Sports News of Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Source: Ghana Soccernet

Alain Giresse is new Mali coach ahead of Ghana friendly

Mali have appointed a new coach as former France midfield star Alain Giresse has signed a contract with his first assignment being the friendly against Ghana later this month. Giresse signed the deal in Bamako on Tuesday to coach Mali again and the friendly against the Black Stars on 31 March in France will offer him the chance to assess his squad.

The Frenchman has come in with the vision of revamping the squad that failed to glitter at the recent Africa Cup of Nations and the Black Stars will be his first test.

The 62-year-old succeeds Pole Henryk Kasperczak, who quit the job soon after a first-round exit from the 2015 CAF Africa Cup of Nations.

Giresse suffered a similar fate in Equatorial Guinea as Senegal failed to make the knockout stage despite starting the tournament among the title favourites.

When first in charge of Mali, he guided them to third at the 2012 Cup of Nations co-hosted by Equatorial Guinea and Gabon.

Giresse then coached Senegal, but like many handlers before him was unable to mould talented individuals into a trophy-winning side.

He fell out with former Newcastle United and Chelsea striker Demba Ba, omitting him from the 2015 Cup of Nations squad.

His first task with Mali will be to prepare for the June start of the 2017 Cup of Nations qualifiers.

Although they never won the Cup of Nations, the Eagles have consistently boxed above their weight, finishing second once, third twice and fourth three times.

Giresse was a key cog in the French 1984 European championship-winning team, starring in a midfield that also included current UEFA president Michel Platini.

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