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AFCON 2023: Algeria sack Djamel Belmadi as Jalel Kadri leaves Tunisia coaching job

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According to reports, Kadri stated, "My mission as head of the Tunisian national team is now over." Belmadi, 47, took over as coach of the Desert Foxes in August 2018 and signed a contract extension a year ago to keep the position until 2026. Kadri was hired following the 2021 Afcon finals, and the 52-year-old guided the Carthage Eagles to qualifying for the 2022 World Cup, when the North Africans were eliminated in the group stage. Their resignation are the latest in a long line of coaching exits from the current finals in West Africa.

Algeria fired coach Djamel Belmadi, while Tunisia’s Jalel Kadri resigned after both sides were eliminated from the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations in the group round.

Belmadi’s departure comes a day after the Desert Foxes suffered a stunning 1-0 loss to Mauritania, leaving the 2019 champions at the bottom of Group D in Ivory Coast.

Kadri announced his resignation in a post-match television interview following Tunisia’s 0-0 tie with South Africa in their last Group E game on Wednesday in Korhogo.

According to reports, Kadri stated, “My mission as head of the Tunisian national team is now over.”

Belmadi, 47, took over as coach of the Desert Foxes in August 2018 and signed a contract extension a year ago to keep the position until 2026.

Kadri was hired following the 2021 Afcon finals, and the 52-year-old guided the Carthage Eagles to qualifying for the 2022 World Cup when the North Africans were eliminated in the group stage.

Their resignation is the latest in a long line of coaching exits from the current finals in West Africa.

Hosts Ivory Coast fired manager Jean-Louis Gasset earlier on Wednesday, although the Elephants were one of four best-ranked third-placed teams with a chance of making the round of 16.

Tom Saintfiet quit as coach of The Gambia on Tuesday after the Scorpions finished last in Group C, while Ghana fired Chris Hughton following an early elimination.

Belmadi quits following Algeria’s ‘sad departure’

Belmadi, who was born in Paris, led Algeria in the 2004 Africa Cup of Nations and then coached his team to victory in Egypt in 2019.

However, their defence of the championship in Cameroon two years ago was short-lived, as their 35-match undefeated streak came to an end, and the North Africans placed last in their group.

In a series of tweets posted on X, Walid Sadi, head of Algeria’s football association, stated that their 2023 Afcon campaign ended with “a bitter exit”.

“I met with Djamel and we reached an amicable agreement to dissolve the association,” he added.

“We thank Djamel for everything he did for the team and wish him good luck in the rest of his career.”

“We apologise to the fans of the national team and the Algerian people after we worked hard and provided ideal conditions for our players to shine.”

Algeria failed to qualify for the 2022 World Cup just three months after their early elimination from the 2021 finals, losing on away goals in a play-off against Cameroon after surrendering a last-gasp goal in the second leg at home.

However, Belmadi stayed, and Les Verts had the best record of any team in qualifying for the 2023 finals.

Sadi stated that “a real revolution” will take place to regain Algeria’s standing “continentally and internationally”.

“We promise to correct the mistakes of the past with one goal: to put the train back on track, and to renew the days of brilliance and victories for Algerian football,” he said in a statement.

Kadri quits after failing to strike his objective

Following Tunisia’s quarter-final loss at the 2021 Afcon, Kadri took over on a permanent basis, replacing Mondher Kebaier.

When the Carthage Eagles failed to advance past the group stage of the 2022 World Cup, despite a stunning victory over then-defending champions France, he announced his resignation.

However, the Tunisian Football Federation (FTF) rejected it, instead extending his contract for another 12 months.

The North Africans finished bottom of their group in Ivory Coast, losing 1-0 to Namibia before drawing with South Africa and Mali.

Speaking after the draw with South Africa, Kadri stated that his contract would immediately end because Tunisia failed to reach the semi-finals, the FTF’s minimal criterion.

When asked if he had formally resigned, Kadri said, “This is my decision and is in my contract.”

Kadri claimed entire responsibility for Tunisia’s poor campaign conclusion.

“The defeat against Namibia in the first match affected us psychologically, and we shouldn’t have lost,” he told reporters.

“We improved against Mali, and against South Africa, but we were not efficient in attack.”

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Rigobert Song steps down as Cameroon head coach

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"We have not achieved our objectives, and our executive committee and I do not see ourselves renewing the contract (with Song)," Eto'o was quoted as saying by France 24. Song, Eto'o's former international teammate, was named Cameroon manager in February 2022. Under his guidance, the Indomitable Lions qualified for the Qatar World Cup with a stunning extra-time victory over Algeria.

Rigobert Song has resigned as Cameroon’s head coach, according to Samuel Eto’o, president of the Cameroonian Football Federation (Fecafoot).

This follows Cameroon’s poor performance at the Africa Cup of Nations, where they were ousted in the final 16 by Nigeria.

Eto’o indicated that the decision to break ways with Song was based on the team’s inability to accomplish its goals and that the executive committee and he did not consider extending Song’s contract as an option.

“We have not achieved our objectives, and our executive committee and I do not see ourselves renewing the contract (with Song),” Eto’o was quoted as saying by France 24.

Song, Eto’o’s former international teammate, was named Cameroon manager in February 2022.

Under his guidance, the Indomitable Lions qualified for the Qatar World Cup with a stunning extra-time victory over Algeria.

Cameroon, on the other hand, struggled throughout the competition, finishing last in the group stage despite a surprise victory over Brazil in the last game.

Eto’o praised Song’s efforts to the team, stating, “Song brought a lot to this team.”

However, he stressed the need to look ahead and find a new coach who can assist the club succeed.

During his tenure, Song supervised 23 matches, winning only six of them. Despite his attempts, Cameroon’s performance under his leadership was judged inadequate, prompting his resignation from the position.

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Zambia crashes Black Queens’ Olympic dreams

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Gifty Assifuah cancelled out her goal 10 minutes later, and the Black Queens moved ahead with a second goal from Doris Boaduwaa to even the aggregate score. Kabange Mupopo forced an equaliser in the 61st minute, but Azumah Bugri scored four minutes later to restore Ghana's advantage and offer them another chance of qualifying.

Ghana’s Black Queens almost lost out on a ticket to the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, losing to Zambia in the third round of qualifying.

The second leg match finished in an exciting 3-3 tie, giving Zambia a 4-3 aggregate victory courtesy to their 1-0 triumph in the first leg in Accra.

Despite a strong showing by the Black Queens, Zambia’s Cooper Queens won, crushing Ghana’s chances of going to the next round.


Zambia advanced to the next round, where they will face either Morocco or Tunisia, after scoring a free-kick on the stroke of full time.

Zambia opened the scoring in the thrilling match at the Levy Mwanawasa Stadium in Ndola, with Barbra Banda scoring after only 11 minutes.

Gifty Assifuah cancelled out her goal 10 minutes later, and the Black Queens moved ahead with a second goal from Doris Boaduwaa to even the aggregate score.


Kabange Mupopo forced an equaliser in the 61st minute, but Azumah Bugri scored four minutes later to restore Ghana’s advantage and offer them another chance of qualifying.

However, that hope was destroyed when Jennifer Cudjoe was sent off for a second yellow card, and the ensuing free kick found the back of the goal.

While the outcome is unfortunate for Ghana, the squad may be proud of their better performance over the first leg.

They will now turn their attention to the 2024 Women’s Africa Cup of Nations, which will take place later this year.

Zambia, on the other hand, advanced to the last qualifying round with strong hopes of earning a place in Paris. Their outstanding performance against Ghana implies that they might be a serious contender in the competition.

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Jordan Ayew scores as Crystal Palace defeat Burnley

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Despite their numerical disadvantage, Burnley held on until the 68th minute, when Ayew sent a pinpoint precise cross that defender Chris Richards met with a thumping header into the bottom corner. Just three minutes later, replacement Matheus Franca linked nicely with Tyrick Mitchell down the left wing, and Ayew tapped in his low cross from close range to make it 2-0. After Vitinho fouled Franca, Jean-Philippe Mateta comfortably took a penalty to secure the win.

Crystal Palace secured a crucial victory in their relegation struggle by overcoming 10-man Burnley 3-0 in new manager Oliver Glasner’s first game.

Ghana forward Jordan Ayew scored one of the goals, extending his impressive record in front of goal. He also assisted, bringing his total goal contributions to ten this season.

Palace controlled possession in the first half but were unable to produce clear-cut chances against a determined Burnley defence. The visitors were reduced to ten men just before halftime when Josh Brownhill was awarded a straight red card for taking down Jefferson Lerma when in on goal.

Despite their numerical disadvantage, Burnley held on until the 68th minute, when Ayew sent a precise cross that defender Chris Richards met with a thumping header into the bottom corner.

Just three minutes later, replacement Matheus Franca linked nicely with Tyrick Mitchell down the left wing, and Ayew tapped in his low cross from close range to make it 2-0. After Vitinho fouled Franca, Jean-Philippe Mateta comfortably took a penalty to secure the win.

As Palace grabbed a critical three points, Burnley striker David Datro Fofana had a late goal ruled out for offside. The victory lifts Palace eight points clear of the relegation zone and marks a successful debut for new boss Glasner, who becomes only the second Palace manager to win his first Premier League game in charge.

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