Gabon refuse to renew Giresse contract

The contract of Gabon coach Alain Giresse will not be renewed, national football federation president Placide Engadzas said Friday.

There was widespread disappointment in the small central African state when the national team was eliminated after the first round of the 2010 CAF Africa Cup of Nations in Angola last month.

A rare win over neighbours Cameroon and a draw with Tunisia set the 'Panthers' up to reach the quarter-finals, only for those hopes to be dashed by a loss against Zambia in the last group game.

Gabon finished level on points and goal difference with Zambia and Cameroon, but paid the price for scoring only two goals in three games during their fourth appearance at the tournament.

Giresse, a 54-year-old former France midfield star, moved to Gabon four years ago and leaves a much stronger national squad than he inherited from another ex-international star, Brazilian Jairzinho.

As co-hosts with Equatorial Guinea, Gabon automatically qualify for the 2012 Nations Cup and the qualifying draw is scheduled for 20 February in the Democratic Republic of Congo city of Lubumbashi.