Algeria have parted ways with coach Djamel Belmadi and Jalel Kadri has resigned from the Tunisian job after both countries exited the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations.
Belmadi’s exit came shortly after Desert Wolves’ surprise 1-0 loss to Mauritania, which meant the 2019 champions finished bottom of Group D in Ivory Coast.
“My work leading the Tunisian national team is now over,” said Kadri.
Kadri was appointed after the 2021 Afcon finals and the 52-year-old led the Carthage Eagles to the 2022 World Cup, where North Africa crashed out of the group.
Their departure is the latest in an impressive series of coaches leaving West Africa.
Belmadi leaves after ‘painful exit’ from Algeria
Born in Paris, Belmadi led Algeria at the 2004 Africa Cup of Nations and, as a coach, led his country to victory in the 2019 Afcon tournament in Egypt.
But their title defense in Cameroon two years ago was short-lived, as their 35-game unbeaten run ended and the North Africans finished in their group.
Walid Sadi, president of Algeria’s football governing body, said their 2023 Afcon campaign had ended with a “painful exit” in a series of comments posted on X.
“I met with Djamel and we agreed to terminate the contract,” said Sadi.
“We thank Djamel for everything he has done for this team and wish him the best in the rest of his life.”
“We apologize to the fans of the national team and to the people of Algeria after working hard and providing the best conditions for our players to shine.”
Three months after qualifying for the 2021 final, Algeria again failed to qualify for the 2022 World Cup, losing on away goals in a play-off against Cameroon after scoring the last goal in the second leg at home.
But Belmadi stayed and Les Verts had the best record of any team that could qualify for the 2023 final.
Sadi said there would be “real changes” to restore Algeria’s position “in the world and in the world”.
“We promise to correct the mistakes of the past with one goal: to get the ship back on track, and restore the days of wisdom and success for Algerian football,” he added.
Kadri gives up after failing to hit the target
Kadri took over for Tunisia on a permanent basis following their elimination from the Afcon 2021 final, replacing Mondher Kebaier.
When the Carthage Eagles failed to get past the group stage of the 2022 World Cup – despite a surprise victory over then-defending champions France – he offered to resign.
However, the Tunisian Football Federation (FTF) refused and instead extended his contract for another 12 months.
The North Africans finished bottom of their group in Ivory Coast, losing 1-0 against Namibia before facing South Africa and Mali.
Speaking after the draw with South Africa, Kadri said that his contract will expire because Tunisia failed to reach the semi-finals, which is what FTF needs.
When asked if he resigned, Kadri replied: “This is my decision and in my contract.”
Kadri said he was fully responsible for Tunisia’s disappointing end to their campaign.
“Namibia’s defeat in the first game affected us mentally, and we would not have given up,” he said.
“We did well against Mali, and against South Africa, but we didn’t do well in attack.”