Football in Côte d'Ivoire
As in the majority of African nations, football is by far the most popular sport in Côte d'Ivoire. The championships in the suburbs, villages, schools and universities serve as the breeding grounds where young players develop talents that will take them on to top-flight teams and in many cases to clubs abroad. After Egypt, Côte d'Ivoire is the second most frequent qualifier for the final competition of the African Cup of Nations with 15 appearances (including ten in succession), but they have only won the title once - in Senegal in 1992. By qualifying for the FIFA World Cup? in Germany, the national team has emulated their youth teams' successful appearances in the U-17 and U-20 World Championships in 1977, 1983, 1993, 1997 and 2003. Several continental club titles (most notably for Africa Sports and ASEC-MIMOSAS) underline the fine work that the clubs have done. A whole host of players have pursued successful football careers abroad (primarily in France) and as dual citizens have been capped by the French national team (e.g. Basile Boli, Kapo and Djibril Cisse). Laurent Pokou is the top scorer in the history of the African Cup of Nations. In 1968 and 1970, he scored a total of 14 goals, five of them in a 6-1 win over Ethiopia at the 1970 competition in Sudan.
The first Goal Project
All coaching facilities were previously under private management (clubs) or fell under the patronage of the Ministry of Sport. However, a technical centre planned for the national association as part of Goal is set to buck that trend. The project was approved by the Goal Bureau on 1 May 2003. Thanks to financial assistance from FIFA, the national association has been able to organise a very promising, nationwide youth development initiative over the last three years. Competitions at U-10, U-12, U-15, U-18 and U-20 levels have been organised in all regions of Côte d'Ivoire in an effort to bring together the most talented players in each age group at regional and later national level and thus safeguard the future of Côte d'Ivoire football on the international stage. As part of this scheme, courses are also being held for coaches and officials.
Use of FAP funds
Financing of Goal project
National technical centre in Abidjan
Project approved
1 May 2003
Financed by
Goal USD 400,000 Association USD 39,090 Government USD 265,000 Total cost USD 704,090