Gabon give Giresse elbow

LIBREVILLE - Gabon will not renew the contract of coach Alain Giresse after their elimination in the first round of the African Nations Cup finals, the country's football federation president has said.

The 54-year-old former France international is the latest coaching victim of the recently completed finals in Angola after Benin, Mali and Nigeria all made changes.

Giresse had been in charge for four years and taken Gabon to the top of their World Cup qualifying group at the halfway stage before two defeats to Cameroon saw them miss out on a berth at the 2010 finals in South Africa.

Gabon gained a measure of revenge by beating Cameroon 1-0 in Lubango at the start of the Nations Cup but then drew with Tunisia and lost to Zambia, going out after a count back of goal scored.

Gabon are co-hosting the next Nations Cup finals with Equatorial Guinea in 2012.

Placide Engandzas told the Gabonews agency that 12 candidates had been approached as possible replacements during a recent visit to Europe.

"The future coach will have to be someone who has played football at a high level and has the same ambitions as us," Engandzas said.