The football nation surprisingly finished third in Group C of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) Afcon qualifiers, behind group leaders Mali and second placed Burundi who qualified for the continental event for the first time in history.
The West Africans despite enjoying the services of Arsenal star striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang only managed eight points from six group matches where they won two matches, drew two and lost two.
Coach Cousin who played for the country as a striker until 2014, had an illustrious career as a player, plying trade for European sides Hull City, Rangers, Lens and Le Mans among others, but his coaching career seem to have had a false start as he had just been in charge of the team for one year.
The Gabon Sports Minister Alain Claude Billie-By-Nze also revoked the contract of the team’s head coach Daniel Cousin while terming the country’s current crop of players as being ‘far less ‘patriotic’.
“We are going to rebuild the national team on a new basis by setting aside everyone who is characterized by a lack of envy, patriotism, and who have put more emphasis on financial resources, the nation and the spirit,” Bilie explained.
The minister’s decision comes in the wake of the team’s disappointing campaign at the just concluded 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers.
Gabon failed to secure a ticket to the biennial football showpiece after being held to a one-all draw away to Burundi in Bujumbura last weekend in their final group qualification fixture.
Aubameyang has faced accusations of not being committed to the national team, especially for skipping international assignments even when he is fit.
The 29-year-old forward recently slammed the country’s football association’s decision to name his father as the national team coach without a deal being finalised.
The qualifiers for the Total Africa Cup of Nations, Egypt 2019, were successfully concluded over the weekend with unprecedented excitement across the continent.
The matches, since the start of the qualifiers, were met with the exceptional enthusiasm of the fans and the public who used the competition to express their passion for their national teams and idols, culminating in 24 countries securing their places in the newly-expanded tournament.
With certainty the 2019 edition of the Total Africa Cup of Nations will take place in Egypt from June 21 to July 19 and will be completely new and attractive on many fronts.
The 24 qualified Countries are:
Egypt [Hosts], Madagascar ,Tunisia , Senegal ,Morocco , Nigeria , Uganda , Mali , Guinea , Algeria ,Mauritania , Ivory Coast , Kenya , Ghana , Angola Burundi , Cameroon , Guinea-Bissau , Namibia , Zimbabwe , DR Congo , Benin , Tanzania , South Africa.
Mark F. silveronline24Last modified on Thursday, 28 March 2019