Ibenge: French clubs closing door on African coaches

Ibenge: French clubs closing door on African coaches
Florent Ibenge, head coach of DR Congo during the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations DR Congo Press Conference at the Alexandria Stadium, Alexandria on the 05 July 2019 ©Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

by Staff Reporter

Tuesday May 05, 2020. 14:00

Accomplished Congolese coach Florent Ibenge says French clubs are unwilling to employ African coaches.

The 58-year-old mentor is one of the top coaches on the African continent having guided DR Congo to the 2016 African Nations Championship (CHAN) title.

Ibenge, who is currently in charge of DRC giants AS Vita Club, disclosed that he has applied for jobs in France in the past.

“I applied but there was no response. Is it racism? I don’t know,” said Ibenge on Senegal Press Agency.

“But what is certain, people are not ready [to hire African coaches]. When you apply, you are only offered youth teams.”

The Leopoldville-born tactician’s also coached Chinese Super League side Shanghai Shenhua in 2012.

Ibenge indicated that there are football academies in France which are dominated by Arab and African players yet coaches from Africa are not giving a chance to coach in Ligue 1.

“But when you look at how many coaches from this community [African and Arab], you can count on the fingers of one hand, that means that there is a problem,” he added.

“Being black or North African does not prevent you from being able to think and lead. Does that mean we’re good just to perform and not to lead?”

Ibenge also coached DR Congo at three Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) finals.

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