The Algerian football federation announced on Wednesday that coach Djamel Belmadi has decided to step down following the team’s Tuesday elimination from the Africa Cup of Nations finals.
Following Algeria’s 1-0 loss against Mauritania, Belmadi informed his players in the locker room that he would step down, and he subsequently consented to end his contract, according to Walid Sadi, president of the Algerian federation.
“I met the national coach to discuss the consequences of this bitter elimination, and we reached an amicable agreement to break his contract.
“We thank the coach for everything he has done for the team and we wish him good luck for the rest of his career,” Sadi said.
Under Belmadi’s leadership, Algeria emerged victorious from the 2019 Cup of Nations in Egypt; however, in the two subsequent editions, his team has failed to advance past their first round group.
Additionally, they were unable to advance to the 2022 World Cup in Qatar after losing to Cameroon at home in a play-off due to the away goals rule.
Despite the recent failures, Belmadi, who is well-known for his expressive demeanour and emotional gestures on the touch line, has hung onto his job.
With a strong team, Algeria was expected to perform well at the Ivory Coast Cup of Nations.
However, they were held to draws in their initial Group D matches by Burkina Faso and Angola, and they lost for the first time ever against Mauritania, who were rated 75 places lower.
“The only thing that was missing was a goal. Whenever they got a half chance they scored, whenever we got a chance we didn’t.
“That’s the mystery of football,” Belmadi told a press conference after the Mauritania match.
Since taking over as manager in 2018, the 47-year-old Frenchman—who also played for Algeria—has only lost seven of his 67 games. His club career also featured stops at Manchester City and Paris St. Germain.
In leadership, he won 43 of his games.
Following the resignation of Tom Saintfiet of the Gambia and the dismissals of Chris Hughton (Ghana) and Jean-Louis Gasset from the host squad, Belmadi becomes the fourth coaching casualty of the tournament in the Ivory Coast in less than a day.