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Hubert Velud: Burkina Faso to part company with French coach after last-16 Afcon 2023 exit

Burkina Faso coach Hubert Velud on the touchline during the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations
Hubert Velud fell short of repeating Burkina Faso's run to the semi-finals of the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations

Burkina Faso are looking for a new coach after choosing not to renew the contract of coach Hubert Velud following their last-16 exit at the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations.

The Stallions were beaten 2-1 by Mali in a tense knockout tie on 30 January, days after finishing second in Group D behind Angola but ahead of 2019 champions Algeria.

Runners-up in 2013, the Burkinabe - who have never lifted the Nations Cup trophy - had reached the semi-finals in 2017 and at the 2021 edition of the tournament two years ago.

In a statement, the country's football federation (FBF) said its executive committee "noted that results fell short of the expectations of the Burkinabe people" and reassured fans of its "desire to continue to ensure that the national flag is raised at the highest level in future events".

"To do this, it is undeniable that the management [of the Stallions], observed during this Nations Cup is out of phase with the ambitions of the executive committee,," the FBF statement added.

At this year's Nations Cup in Ivory Coast, Frenchman Velud - who signed a two-year contract in April 2022 - finally took charge of a game after qualifying with a third different country for the tournament.

He was unable to lead Togo in 2010 after the team withdrew on the eve of the finals following the gun attack by separatists in the Angolan enclave of Cabinda, during which he was shot in the arm and his assistant, Amalete Abalo, and the team's media officer, Stanislas Ocloo, lost their lives.

The 64-year-old then helped Sudan reach the 2021 Nations Cup, which was delayed a year because of the coronavirus pandemic, only to be sacked weeks before the finals in Cameroon following a bad performance in the Arab Cup.

The FBF said it is already planning for both the 2025 Nations Cup and 2026 World Cup, with the latter's next qualifiers taking place in June.

The West Africans have four points after their first two World Cup qualifiers, and are two points behind Group A leaders Egypt.

Velud is the eighth coach to have left his position since the beginning of this year's Nations Cup, which climaxes on Sunday when hosts Ivory Coast meet Nigeria in the final.

He joins Jean-Louis Gasset (Ivory Coast), Chris Hughton (Ghana), Djamel Belmadi (Algeria), Jalel Kadri (Tunisia), Tom Saintfiet (Gambia), Rui Vitoria (Egypt) and Baciro Cande (Guinea-Bissau) as having departed their roles.