Ivorian hero Emerse Fae joins African coaching greats with Africa Cup of Nations titles


Ivory Coast’s triumph at the TotalEnergies CAF Africa Cup of Nations Cote d’Ivoire 2023 marked more than just a victory on the field; it etched Emerse Fae’s name into the annals of African football history.

Fae, the 40-year-old coach, led his team to a memorable comeback victory against Nigeria, securing their third continental title in a thrilling final showdown.

Taking over the helm from Jean-Louis Gasset, Fae navigated the Ivorian team through challenging circumstances, initially entering the knockout stages as one of the third-best placed teams.

However, his tactical acumen and leadership propelled the squad to an emphatic pole finish, clinching the championship in Ebimpe.

Fae now joins an illustrious list of African coaches who have left an indelible mark on the continent’s football landscape. Since the inception of the competition in 1957, only eleven African coaches have lifted the prestigious title.

Among these luminaries are Mourad Fahmy of Egypt, Charles Gyamfi of Ghana, and Abdelhamid Kermali of Algeria, each contributing to the rich tapestry of African football history.

Egypt, in particular, boasts a remarkable record, with seven titles to their name, five of which were secured under the guidance of local coaches. Fae’s achievement adds another feather to the cap of Ivorian football, alongside Martial Yeo’s triumph in 1992.

The significance of African coaches in shaping the continent’s football narrative cannot be overstated. From Ghana’s Fred Osam Doudu to Nigeria’s Stephen Keshi, these tacticians have played pivotal roles in guiding their respective nations to glory on the international stage.

Furthermore, Fae’s success underscores the growing trend of young African coaches making their mark in the sport.

As the continent continues to produce talented football minds, the list of African coaches lifting the Africa Cup of Nations title is expected to expand further in the upcoming editions.

Beyond the men’s tournament, African football also celebrates the achievements of female coaches like Desiree Ellis, who led South Africa to victory in the TotalEnergies CAF Africa Women’s Cup of Nations.

Emerse Fae’s triumph serves as a testament to the wealth of coaching talent within Africa and reaffirms the continent’s enduring legacy in the world of football. As the sport continues to evolve, Fae’s name will forever be synonymous with Ivorian footballing glory.

African coaches to win the TotalEnergies CAF AFCON title:

1957 – Mourad Fahmy (Egypt)

1963 – Charles Gyamfi (Ghana)

1965 – Charles Gyamfi (Ghana)

1978 – Fred Osam Doudu (Ghana)

1982 – Charles Gyamfi (Ghana)

1990 – Abdelhamid Kermali (Algeria)

1992 – Martial Yeo (Cote d’Ivoire)

1996 – Clive Barker (South Africa)

1998 – Mohamed Al Gohari (Egypt)

2006 – Hassan Shehata (Egypt)

2008 – Hassan Shehata (Egypt)

2010 – Hassan Shehata (Egypt)

2013 – Stephen Keshi (Nigeria)

2019 – Djamel Belmadi (Algeria)

2021 – Aliou Cisse (Senegal)

2023 – Emerse Fae (Cote d’Ivoire)

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