After 5 years as head coach of the Togo national football team, Claude Le Roy decided to resign from his post on Monday, 12th April 2021, after Togo failed to qualify for the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) that will be held in January 2022.

The French veteran coach Le Roy started his Togo job in April 2016 and led Emmanuel Adebayor and The Hawks to the 2017 AFCON finals in Gabon. Since then, however, Togo have failed to reach back-to-back finals.

“In football, there is only one thing that matters in the end and that is the results. And after a while, you have to draw the lines,” he said.

Having arrived in Africa in 1985, Le Roy guided numerous teams including Cameroon, Senegal, DR Congo, Ghana and Congo before Togo. He guided The Indomitable Lions to the AFCON title in 1988.

After Le Roy’s announcement, the Togolese Football Federation (FTF) accepted his decision on mutual consent. “After missing on qualification to the Total AFCON, Cameroon 2021, Togo National Coach Claude Le Roy decided to resign from his post following a meeting with Ms. Minister of Sports and Leisure Dr. Bessi Lidi-Kama.”

In 35 matches in all competitions as head coach of Togo, the 73-year-old guided the Hawks to 9 wins, 12 draws and 14 losses.

Togo are now in search of a new manager before the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers commence in June. The Sparrowhawks are in Group H with highest-ranked African side Senegal. Congo and Namibia are the other two teams that will be contending with them for a spot in the world’s biggest football competition.

French coach Claude Le Roy has said that he has already been contacted with job offers just hours after he resigned as Togo’s head coach.

“I still have the energy to coach. Since yesterday, I received phone calls so I will think about it,” he said.

“For now, I will take some time off, release my book next month. But I already have some offers on the table and really serious ones.”

Le Roy has been to nine AFCON finals with six different countries!

With Togo finishing bottom of their group in the AFCON qualifiers, behind Egypt, Comoros and Kenya, managing no wins and 2 draws, the French veteran decided to call it quits.

His replacement’s main task will be to lead the team through 2022 World Cup qualifying.

“It is always heart-breaking to leave a group, a staff that you value but I had to review and be loyal and I felt that after the failure in the AFCON qualifiers I needed to be honest and leave my seat for someone else for the World Cup qualifiers,” he explained.

As a former Senegal coach he jokingly added: “Even though I wished to give a few headaches to my Senegalese friends that I love so much.”

He hopes that he has left behind a system that would see football in Togo continue to develop.

“Togolese football never was really organised, now a lot of things are currently developed and going in the right way,” he added.

“I founded ‘Graines du Togo’ (Seeds of Togo) – a project to detect young talents – and we had 15,000 kids last year.

“We also started to have a meaningful league with pitches that actually look like football pitches.

“I still think my successors will deserve to be given time and understanding.

“A whole generation left with (Serge) Gakpe, (Alaixys) Romao, (Kossi) Agassa and (Emmanuel) Adebayor and don’t forget this generation didn’t win anything. Togo never reached the semifinals or final of an AFCON.

“I felt we were close to something but we still lost some games because we didn’t have enough experience.”

“My job is about results and when you don’t have results, you should be able to say “Thank you very much” especially since they put in place the best conditions possible.”