(Reuters) - Patrice Beaumelle has been appointed the new coach of Ivory Coast, taking over from Ibrahim Kamara, the country’s football federation confirmed on Wednesday.
Frenchman Beaumelle has signed a one-year contract and is tasked with leading the side to the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations finals in Cameroon early next year.
It marks a return to the team for Beaumelle, who was assistant coach to compatriot Herve Renard when the Ivorians lifted the Nations Cup trophy in 2015.
“He knows the team having been Herve Renard’s assistant from 2014 to 2015. He knows the players, so it will be easier for him to work with them,” Ivorian federation president Sory Diabate told reporters.
“The objective is to qualify for the 2021 Nations Cup. Winning this Nations Cup is not our primary objective, but we must show improvement.”
The Ivorians have had a mixed start to their qualification campaign, beating Niger before a shock 2-1 loss away to Ethiopia.
They face a home and away double-header against Madagascar later this month, which will be the first matches in charge for Beaumelle.
The top two teams in each pool advance to the finals in Cameroon.
Reporting by Nick Said; Editing by Toby Davis