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March 1, 2010

Halilhodzic furious over dismissal

Vahid Halilhodzic is furious with former employers Ivory Coast following his sacking over the weekend, saying the move was "politically" motivated.

Vahid Halilhodzic
GettyImagesVahid Halilhodzic has been dismissed as Ivory Coast boss

Halilhodzic has come for increased criticism ever since Ivory Coast were dumped out of the African Nations Cup at the quarter-final stage during January's competition in Angola.

The axe finally fell over him on Saturday and he told the French newspaper L'Equipe: "It's terrible, I'm disgusted. I lose one game in 24 and now I have been sacrificed. It's purely political."

The 57-year-old Bosnian's future was also talking point last week when he failed to travel to South Africa for a pre-tournament seminar involving the other coaches.

Halilhodzic, who was first appointed coach of the Elephants in 2008, becomes the second coach of an African World Cup-bound side to be dismissed.

Last month, Shaibu Amodu was released by neighbours Nigeria and replaced by Sweden's Lars Lagerback.

Jacques Anouma, president of the Ivorian Football Federation (FIF), explained that the decision to sack Halilhodzic was due to his failure to deliver on a mandate.

He said: "I terminated the contract of Vahid, because I asked him to achieve two goals: qualifying the Elephants for CAN (African Nations Cup) and the World Cup and win the CAN 2010. Unfortunately, he failed to win the CAN."

Initial reports from the country suggest that Turkey-bound Russia coach Guus Hiddink is a favourite to take over on a short- term contract, but the FIF boss insisted that he would never appoint a coach for less than a two-year period.

Anouma, who confirmed a new coach will be named within 10 days, added: "I only sign two-year contracts, not more or not less. I always sign as compared to CAN."

The Ivorians travel to London for a friendly with South Korea on Wednesday.