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Eric Chelle challenges dismissal as Mali coach

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Eric Chelle, recently dismissed as coach of the Mali national football team, has spoken out against the manner of his removal. Chelle, who served as coach for two years, expressed his discontent with the Malian Football Federation (Femafoot) and their handling of his departure.

On June 16, Femafoot announced Chelle’s dismissal, ending his two-year tenure. Chelle, a former central defender for the Eagles with five caps, remained silent for several weeks before releasing a statement.

“In May 2022, I was appointed coach of the national team, and I gave the best of myself to honor this mission. Until my dismissal, I did my best despite a difficult context.

I took great pleasure in working for the motherland. This is why I chose to remain silent on the challenges encountered, out of respect for ethics, honor, and dignity,” Chelle stated.

The 46-year-old coach expressed particular disappointment in discovering his dismissal through social media.

“I would like to thank the Malian sporting public, the players of all Mali’s national teams, and the country’s authorities for their unconditional support during this great adventure.

Although the way I learned of my dismissal on social media through a press release was surprising, I remain proud of the work accomplished and the opportunity I was given,” Chelle lamented, implicitly criticizing Femafoot’s approach.

Chelle emphasized his professional commitment and hinted at taking legal action against the federation. “As a professional football coach, I have to react as a professional.

That is why I am forced to assert my rights through legal channels,” he warned.

Chelle’s tenure as Mali’s coach saw him navigate various challenges, including managing the team in a complex and evolving football environment.

His statement reflects his pride in the progress made during his tenure and his dedication to the team’s success.

However, his criticism of the federation’s handling of his dismissal highlights ongoing issues within the administrative structures of Malian football.

The fallout from Chelle’s dismissal raises questions about the internal dynamics of Femafoot and the broader implications for Mali’s footballing future.

The federation’s decision to announce Chelle’s removal via social media without prior notification to the coach suggests a lack of professional courtesy and transparency.

This approach not only undermines the coach’s contributions but also sets a concerning precedent for future administrative decisions.

Chelle’s decision to pursue legal action underscores the seriousness of the situation and his commitment to protecting his professional integrity.

It also draws attention to the need for better governance and communication within football federations to ensure fair treatment of coaching staff and other key stakeholders.

As Mali’s national team looks ahead, the handling of Chelle’s dismissal serves as a reminder of the importance of ethical practices and respect for those who dedicate their efforts to advancing the sport.

The resolution of this issue will likely impact the federation’s reputation and its ability to attract and retain top coaching talent in the future.

In the meantime, the Malian football community and supporters await further developments, hoping for a fair and just outcome for all parties involved.

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