Togo appoints Paulo Duarte as head coach of national football team


The Togolese Football Federation (FTF) unveiled Portuguese coach Paulo Duarte as the new head coach of the men’s national team on a three-year deal.

Portuguese national Paulo Duarte is the new coach of Togo’s national football team, The Sparrowhawks. /VCG

Duarte succeeds Claude Leroy who resigned in April after The Sparrowhawks failed to qualify for next year’s Africa Cup of Nations. Duarte emerged tops from a list that included some stellar names like Alain Giresse, Laurent Roussey, Hugo Broos and Paul Put.

Duarte, 52, is set to officially assume his role in August once his contract with Angolan club Primeiro de Agosto runs out. Until then, U-20 national team coach Jonas Kokou Komla will take charge of the team.

That means Duarte will be available to lead Togo for the upcoming African World Cup qualifiers after CAF postponed the qualifiers set to be played in June due to challenges arising from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The qualifiers will now take place in the international windows in September, October and November 2021, and March 2022.

Togo is scheduled to play Senegal, Africa’s top-ranked side, away from home first, then host Namibia.

Duarte has experience of African football because other than his stint in Angola, he has also coached Tunisia’s CS Sfaxien at club level and Burkina Faso (twice) and Gabon at national level.

Under his stewardship, Burkina Faso earned a third-place finish in the 2017 AFCON in Gabon.

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