One of the interesting literature textbooks read by yours sincerely in my earliest days in high school was one of Africa’s great author, Camara Laye, the AFRICAN CHILD. I digress.

The 2023 AFCON went to bed late on Sunday evening at Alhassane Quattara stadium, Abidjan, Cote D’Ivoire. The host nation, Cote D’Ivoire deservedly lifted the trophy, following a 2-1 victory over the highly rated Super Eagles of Nigeria.

In the victory of the Elephants of Cote D’Ivoire, an unassuming young man wrote his name into the folk lore of his country’s and African Football as a coaching great. He is one of the privileged three Africans who have led their countries to the much coveted continental football honours.

When the hostilities for the biggest and most prestigious continental football honours started just about a month ago,Caoch Emerson Fae was just an assistant coach to the Ivorien national team’s handler, Frenchman Gassett. He was not in any way primed for the kind of accolades he received a couple of days back. Destiny certainly intervened , and in just about two weeks after he was given the job as the chief coach of the Elephants, Emerson Fae has emerged as the 18th African Coach, latest and current face, and poster of African Football Coaches and has earned his spot in that enviable, distinct and great coaches listing, and the 4th youngest African after Ghanaian 35 years old Charles Gyamfi in 1963, Sudanese 37 years aged Abdel-Fattah Hamad in 1970, Ghanaian 39 years old Fred Osam-Duodu in 1978.

1) 1957 Egypt – Mourad Fahmy

2) 1963 – Ghana – Charles Gyamfi

3) 1965 – Ghana – Charles Gyamfi

4) 1970 – Sudan – Abdelfattah Hamad

5) 1972 – Congo – Adolph Bibanzulu

6) 1978 – Ghana – Fred Osam Duodu

7) 1982 – Ghana – Charles Gyamfi

8) 1990 – Algeria – Abdelhamid Kermali

9) 1992 – Cote d’Ivoire- Martial Yeo

10) 1996 – South Africa – Clive Barker

11) 1998 – Egypt – Mohamed Al Gohari

12) 2006 – Egypt – Hassan Shehata

13) 2008 – Egypt – Hassan Shehata

14) 2010 – Egypt – Hassan Shehata

!5) 2013: Nigeria – Stephen Keshi

16) 2019: Algeria – Djamel Belmadi

17) 2021: Aliou Cisse

18) 2023: Emerse Fae

Destiny was certainly at work.

The Elephants of Cote D’Ivoire were everything but impressive in the group phase of the recent AFCON on home soil. They were so poor that their supporters had actually mourned their ouster from the championship before a combination of good fortunes saw them achieved passage to the knockout phase as the best third placed team in the group stage.

Given the terrible performance of the Elephants of Cote D’Ivoire in the opening phase of the championship, the chief coach of the team, Frenchman Gassett was shown the exit door. Herve Renad was Cote D’Ivoire’s first choice as a replacement for the sacked Gassett but a deal could not be reached.

Here comes the destiny child. Emerson Fae was appointed to see the team through the championship. A combination of tactical switch, improved performance and luck kicked-in and the Elephants of Cote D’Ivoire are the current champions and king of African Football. This happened under the managerial acumen and tactical savvy of Emerson Fae.

Let us all give a standing ovation to Emerson Fae, the new face of African Football Coaches, as he takes his rightful place among the African coaching greats.

Meanwhile, African Football Coaches Connect has joined the rest of the global football community to felicitate and congratulate coach Emerson Fae on his massive achievement at the 2023 AFCON.

The Founder/President of ACC, Eldred Sunju-Abbey has described Emerson Fae as a source of pride for African Football Coaches, and a great reference point.

Coach Eldred Sunju-Abbey said Emerson Fae, a friend, brother and a staunch believer and apostle of African Coaches potential will be sharing some of his massive and immeasurable experiences with ACC coaches Worldwide.

Equally, we celebrate and appreciate all the African Coaches at the AFCON for great presence, presentation and investiture, every team showed a respectable level of contestation and hopefully we continue to educate and improving ourselves as the whole world expects a higher standard in Morocco.

My personal thanks goes to Coach Pedro Leitão Brito, commonly known as Bubista, the Cabo Verdean Manager, a class gentleman, always ready to share and exchange on how to move African Football Coaching forward, more so for the level his team performed all through the tournament. Truly amazed at their extensive-possessive style, switch and speed of play and the fresh dimension of 1 v 1 isolation on the flanks, did I mention their energy level all through and the balance spread.

The ACC supremo called on every African Football Coach to be encouraged and inspired by the story and trajectory of Emerson Fae. He concluded by saying that in the not too distant future, a coach of African descent will win the FIFA World Cup.


  1. African Coaches Connect working in tandem with time…what a convention!!! What a perfect time for an African coach to doing it again and again…Mr. president Eldred Sunju, congratulations boss⚽

  2. I’m glad for Fae and Ivory Coast, this is a testament that Africans don’t have to look outside to advance football in Africa.
    We have young dynamic coaches conversant with African physical style of play who can bring out the best in our footballers.
    Kudos to African Coaches Connect for your steadfast belief in promoting African Coaches. Keep up the good work

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