Niamey - Former Ivory Coast coach Francois Zahoui was named as the new coach of Niger, the country's Football federation said Friday.
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The first challenge awaiting the 53-year old coach, who guided his native Ivory Coast to the final of the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations, will be helping Niger qualify for their third continental championships.
After getting knocked out in the group phase in 2012 and 2013, Niger, 119th in the FIFA rankings, missed out on the 2015 edition in Equatorial Guinea.
"The Menas" face a tough challenge as they have been drawn alongside giants Senegal, 2013 finalists Burkina Faso and Namibia in group K of the first qualifying round.
Zahoui, a former forward for French sides Nancy and Toulon, replaces Gernot Rohr, who quit after failing to qualify Niger for the 2015 Cup of Nations.
The next Africa Cup of Nations will be hosted by Gabon in 2017.