Avram Grant to leave role as coach of Ghana after African Nations Cup

Ghana will begin the search for a new coach to rescue their World Cup campaign after it was confirmed on Tuesday that Avram Grant would leave at the end of his contract.

Grant, 62, was in the final month of his deal to lead the national team, having been in charge since Dec. 1, 2014. But he will leave following the African Nations Cup in Gabon, where Ghana could only finish fourth after losing to eventual-champions Cameroon in the semifinals and Burkina Faso in the third-place playoff.

The Ghana Football Association said in a statement that "the two parties will mutually part ways after their contract ends on February 28" and that it would now "commence the process of searching and appointing a new coach for the Senior National Team of Ghana, the Black Stars."

Ghana are in a perilous position in qualifying for Russia 2018, having picked up only one point from their opening final-round qualifiers at home to Uganda and in Egypt. With African Nations Cup runners-up Egypt having won both their games, Ghana are now outsiders to make it to the finals for a fourth successive time.

"After an extremely amicable meeting with the president of Ghana FA, and following more than two successful years in charge of the national team, I've informed Mr Nyantakyi that time is right for me to move on to a new challenge and I thank him for the opportunity," Grant said in a statement.

"I've hugely enjoyed my time in Ghana taking over after the disastrous 2014 World Cup campaign and rebuilding the squad to reach the final in the African Cup of Nations for only the second time in 23 years, and also the semifinal of this year's competition.

"I'm proud of the fact that I'm leaving an extremely professional, strong squad of players of a good age, who I'm sure will go on to achieve great success in the future.

"The passion and loyalty of the supporters is something I'll always remember."

Grant did lead Ghana to the final of the 2015 African Nations Cup, where they drew 0-0 with Ivory Coast before losing on penalties.