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Football - Gabon - Thierry Mouyouma: "You can only represent a people through discipline".

Thierry Mouyouma
Football - Gabon - Thierry Mouyouma: "You can only represent a people through discipline".

In an interview with Radio France Internationale, Thierry Mouyouma talks about his role as Gabon coach. Appointed in October, he hopes to focus on discipline to achieve his objectives.


In October 2023, Gabon chose Thierry Mouyouma to take over the reins of the national team. The technician is expected to get the Panthères back on track in sporting terms, as the Gabonese missed out on the AFCON 2023. In addition, observers expect discipline in the national team, which has been plagued by extra-sporting affairs for several years.The 48-year-old coach talks about this in an interview with RFI. " Discipline is needed at every level. You need tactical discipline to play well. You need discipline for people to live together, you need discipline to establish your ideas, you need discipline to establish the principles of the game. So I'm not inventing the wheel. In Gabon, we have talent and quality, but we've been lacking in discipline. In every aspect. We're not just talking about behavioral discipline, but also about the game and tactics.

Thierry Mouyouma goes even further. " Gabon is a country which, since last August, has undergone a political upheaval, and this doesn't just stop at the political level. It involves all parts of society, including soccer, and as you know, soccer is the opium of the people. The people live through the results of the national team. We have a duty to set an example. We represent the people, and you can only represent a people through discipline. The Gabonese people are a disciplined people, and we who wear the national team jersey represent Gabon. When we go abroad at taxpayers' expense, we have to be representative, and everything depends on discipline ". He therefore believes that players need to be imbued with a sense of patriotism if they are to perform well in the national jersey.

An encouraging start

Thierry Mouyouma led his side to two wins in the first 2 qualifiers for the 2026 World Cup (2-1 against Kenya, 2-1 in Burundi). In a friendly in March, however, the Panthères lost narrowly to Senegal 0-3 before sharing the points with Congo 1-1. Is this enough for you to have very high ambitions?" Gabon really do have ambitions. The primary ambition, as stipulated in my contract, is to qualify the team for the 2025 Africa Cup of Nations. After that, the subsidiary objective is to qualify Gabon for the World Cup. Which is not impossible when you look at the current format and the number of African countries that can go to the World Cup. Gabon has a chance like any other nation," stresses the coach, who faces the tough task of taking on the 2023 African champions in the next round of World Cup qualifiers.

" Côte d'Ivoire may be African champions, but they're not unbeatable. It's up to us to do what we have to do in June so that we can leave Abidjan with a satisfactory result and not allow Côte d'Ivoire to take a considerable lead.Gabon may not have been at the AFCON, but we're still competitive even if we're in a restructuring phase.

"And to achieve this, Thierry Mouyouma offers his recipe." We need to restructure the entity at every level: state of mind, disciplinary level, mental level, technical level and results level. It's important for Gabon to qualify for every AFCON from now on. "

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