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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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Ghana coach Otto Addo: We will not relax against CAR in the 2026 World Cup qualifiers

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They are presently ranked third in Group I, after leaders Madagascar and the Comoros. Despite the remarkable win over Mali's favoured Eagles, Addo insisted that the squad cannot afford to be complacent. His sentiments mirrored those of Mohammed Kudus. "One thing is certain: the game will be extremely challenging. "For everyone who thinks it'll be easy, we hope it is, but it's a very difficult game," Addo told reporters on Sunday. "We can't relax now," said the former Borussia Dortmund head coach. The match is scheduled to start at 19:00 GMT.

Otto Addo, Black Stars coach, has advised his players to be focused and not take their next encounter against the Central African Republic (CAR) lightly.

Ghana will face CAR on Monday, June 10, at the Baba Yara Stadium in the fourth of four matchdays in the 2026 World Cup qualification.

The Black Stars came into this game off a 2-1 victory against Mali in Bamako, raising their total to six points in three games.

They are presently ranked third in Group I, after leaders Madagascar and the Comoros.

Despite the remarkable win over Mali’s favoured Eagles, Addo insisted that the squad cannot afford to be complacent. His sentiments mirrored those of Mohammed Kudus.

“One thing is certain: the game will be extremely challenging. “For everyone who thinks it’ll be easy, we hope it is, but it’s a very difficult game,” Addo told reporters on Sunday.

“We can’t relax now,” said the former Borussia Dortmund head coach.

The match is scheduled to start at 19:00 GMT.

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2026 WCQ: Otto Addo expects a tight game against CAR

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"This is going to be really difficult. "For everyone who thinks we can just play them, I don't believe it will happen," remarked the former Borussia Dortmund coach. "They're performing well, especially in attacking transitions. They're quite dangerous; they demonstrated that in the 1-1 draw with Mali," he continued. The Black Stars are presently third in Group I, with six points. A victory would greatly improve their prospects of qualifying for the World Cup.

Ghana coach Otto Addo expects a tough encounter against the Central African Republic (CAR) in the 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifiers.

The Black Stars will meet CAR in the fourth round of matches on Monday at Baba Yara Stadium, with kickoff at 19:00 GMT.

Reflecting on their recent comeback win over Mali in Bamako during the third round, Addo emphasised the importance of the forthcoming encounter against CAR.

“This is going to be really difficult. “For everyone who thinks we can just play them, I don’t believe it will happen,” remarked the former Borussia Dortmund coach.

“They’re performing well, especially in attacking transitions. They’re quite dangerous; they demonstrated that in the 1-1 draw with Mali,” he continued.

The Black Stars are presently third in Group I, with six points. A victory would greatly improve their prospects of qualifying for the World Cup.

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Mohammed Kudus: Qualifying for the 2026 World Cup is the ultimate objective

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Ghana striker Mohammed Kudus has stated that the Black Stars are aiming to qualify for the 2026 World Cup.

The squad recently returned to form, defeating Mali 2-1 in Bamako on their third matchday, due to second-half goals from Ernest Nuamah and Jordan Ayew.

With this victory, Ghana is presently third in Group I with six points.

Ahead of their matchday four against the Central African Republic on Monday at the Baba Yara Stadium, Kudus, who plays for West Ham United, emphasised that the Black Stars’ primary goal is to qualify for the coveted event in 2026.

“The belief has always existed; that we all want to go to the World Cup. “That is our ultimate goal, regardless of how we achieve it,” Kudus told the press on Sunday.

“Our coach has his strategies, but sometimes the game gets tougher. “We just have to do our best and get the results,” he said.

Kudus is likely to play an important part for Ghana when they face the Central African Republic in this critical qualifier.

The highly anticipated encounter is due to begin at 19:00 GMT.

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