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France sack Bergeroo; Olivier Echouafni hired as coach

Philippe Bergeroo had France playing beautiful soccer, but it did not result in any podium finishes (FRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images)

Philippe Bergeroo had France playing beautiful soccer, but it did not result in any podium finishes (FRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images)

France has sacked Philippe Bergeroo as national team head coach following a string of disappointing results at major tournaments. Olivier Echouafni has been announced as the new coach and is scheduled to be introduced to the French press on Wednesday.

France played beautiful soccer under Bergeroo but were rarely if ever able to play with the tenacity needed to go deep in major tournaments. At the recently concluded Olympics, France outplayed the United States for much of their group match but wound up on the wrong side of a 1-0 scoreline. They later went out with a whimper to Canada in the quarterfinals. Last summer Bergeroo’s side was eliminated on penalties by Germany in the World Cup quarterfinals following an epic match, but one in which France created more than enough chances to win.

France’s other match against the United States this year, at the SheBelieves Cup, was a 2-0 loss after the French dominated the first half without being able to finish.

Echouafni, who will turn 44 on Tuesday. was handed a two-year contract which means the French Football Federation has not yet given him a vote of confidence to lead the squad into the 2019 World Cup which France will host. The former midfielder came up through the youth system at Marseille where he eventually made 86 appearances. His career path took him to Strasbourg and Rennais and then to Nice where he appeared more than 200 times.

On the coaching front Echouafni has had brief stints at Amiens and Sochaux but has not coached in about a year.

The action will come quickly for Echouafni who will name a team early next week to face Brail in a friendly on Friday and then Albania in a Euro 2017 qualifier on Tuesday, September 20. France is already qualified to the Euros.

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