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Last Updated: Thursday, 5 August, 2004, 14:00 GMT 15:00 UK
Ivory Coast recalls Martial
By James Copnall
BBC West African football correspondent

Yeo Martial
Martial led Ivory Coast to the African title in 1992

Legendary coach Yeo Martial has been appointed as technical director of the Ivory Coast.

It is the second time he will be taking up the post, after a previous stint in the 1990's ended in disappointment.

Martial is a popular man in his country, having coached the Elephants to victory at the 1992 African Cup of Nations in Senegal.

It is the only time that the West African nation has won the continent's most prestigious football event.

Martial has been given the job of restructuring Ivorian football, hard hit by the political crisis that has rocked the country since September 2002.

We have so much work to do
Yeo Martial

"I am delighted to have been given this role," Martial said.

"We have so much work to do in developing young players and coaches, as well as putting together a national women's team."

The 58-year-old is also expected to restructure the football academies that have sprung up throughout the country.

Although Martial felt unsupported during his previous stint in charge, he is confident that the current environment will enable him make positive changes to the structure of Ivorian football.

"The last time I had the job, I wasn't given the resources to work properly," he explained.

"So it was difficult for us to work. But this time we are going to have the means to do the work that needs to be done."

Beside leading Ivory Coast to an African title, Martial has won three Ivorian championships, the African Cup Winners' Cup and the African Super Cup.

He was also technical director of the Gabon national team in 1996 and managed Niger between 2002 and 2003.

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