Ivory Coast in talks with Gili

ABIDJAN - Ivory Coast's Football Federation are in talks with former Olympique Marseille coach Gerard Gili to head the West African state's national team, the president of the Ivory Coast football federation (FIF) said.

Ivory Coast have been searching for a coach since negotiations to keep Sven-Goran Eriksson, who managed the Elephants during the World Cup in South Africa, broke down because of a failure to agree on salary.

FIF President Jacques Anoma told Reuters late last week Gili could be a good fit because he served as assistant coach for the Elephants between 2004 and 2006.

"Since he knows the place and the players, I have asked him to come," he said. "I've told him he has an advantage compared to others in that he already knows the lay of the land."

Ivory Coast had a disappointing World Cup and failed to qualify for the knockout stages.

Anoma said talks with Gili were ongoing and that no decision had been made.

He added that he hoped the next coach of the Elephants lives in Ivory Coast, still recovering from a 2002-03 civil war, after several years in which the team's coaches have asked to be based in Europe.

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