Mali Snub Rohr, Settle for Ex international, Chelle

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The Mali Football Federation (FEMAFOOT) has picked former international Eric Sekou Chelle ahead of erstwhile Super Eagles Manager, Gernot Rohr, and Winifred Schafer to lead the Malian national team, the Eagles.

Rohr was reportedly the favourite to succeed Mohamed Magassouba as head coach of the Eagles.

The FEMAFOOT has instead settled for Chelle to steer the ship of the Eagles ahead of the qualifiers for the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations.

“The former defender of the #Aigles, Éric Sékou Chelle was appointed on Friday by the Malian Football Federation at the head of the national team of #Mali,” reads a statement on FEMAFOOT’s website.

“Aged 44 and a graduate of a Professional Football Coaching Certificate (BEPF), the  new boss of the Eagles will have as his first challenge, the qualification of Mali for the Africa Cup of Nations (CAN 2023) which will take place in Ivory Coast from June 23 to July 23, 2023.”

Rohr was omitted by the commission set up to screen the candidates.

Former Indomitable Lions of Cameroon Head Coach Schaefer was the first choice to replace Magassouba, but was reportedly overlooked after failing to make decision on the job on time.

The German, according to Sports News Africawas willing to reside permanently in Mali as stipulated in the nomination criteria. He asked for time to reflect with his family, but could not be reached for confirmation.

Rohr, a former Nigeria, Gabon and Niger coach will now look elsewhere after missing out on the job.

Chelle will pen a three-year contract with his technical staff expected to be composed of Malians.

The Eagles of Mali will face Congo, Gambia and South Sudan in Group G of the 2023 AFCON.