Jorge Costa, coach of Gabon during the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations

Graeme Jackson

Wednesday Oct 05, 2016. 11:55

Gabon coach Jorge Costa says he wants to see his team excel in both the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations finals and the 2018 World Cup qualifiers.

The Panthers will be the host team for the next AFCON finals early next year, while they also begin their group stage qualifying campaign for Russia 2018 when they welcome Morocco to Franceville on Saturday evening.

Costa, who was re-appointed as the coach of Gabon in August on an initial six-month contract (his two-year deal with the FA ran out at the end of June this year) knows that his side faces a tough ask in both competitions.

We are in a really difficult group with Morocco, Mali and the Ivory Coast. This is a team that goes to the World Cup,” he told

“Honestly, it will not be easy for us. But we are here. We will do everything to go for the first time in the World Cup.

“And then at home we play the AFCON. It is true that at minimum, the final one wants to play. This is what motivates us.”

Costa, when asked if he had to choose between reaching Russia 2018 or going deep into the 2017 Nations Cup finals, said he couldn’t pick one goal over the other.

“I want both. Never has Gabon been in the World Cup. We would make history. Gabon has also never played a final or a semifinal of the African Cup of Nations, but we want to make history,” said Costa.

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