BAMAKO (Reuters) – Alain Giresse has quit his position as coach of the Mali national side less than a month before the region’s World Cup qualifiers kick off, French media reports said on Thursday.
The former France international led Mali to third place at this year’s African Nations Cup finals but said he had rejected a new contract offer which would have taken him through the qualifiers for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
“The contract terms do not suit me,” the 59-year-old Giresse told French radio.
“I was offered a contract that impeded my independence. I had to give a list of players for approval and the medical staff was no longer under my direction. This is not acceptable,” he added in a interview with the sports daily L’Equipe.
In March, Giresse was caught up in a coup in the West African country, holed up for several days in Bamako before being able to depart for France.
He has been coach of the team since May 2010, successfully qualifying for this year’s Nations Cup, where he took them to an unexpected semi-final berth at the tournament co-hosted by Equatorial Guinea and Gabon.
“I’ve invested a lot in the team and have not acted on any of the other offers I received since the Nations Cup. I will treasure good memories of my adventure with Mali,” Giresse added in the radio interview
Giresse previously worked in Africa as coach of Gabon and Moroccan club side Royal Armed Forces.
Mali open their Group H qualifying campaign with a trip to Benin on June 3 before they host Algeria five days later.
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