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Switzerland’s Petkovic appointed Algeria coach

Vladimir Petkovic has been appointed coach of Algeria in place of sacked Djamel Belmadi, the Algerian football federation (FAF) announced Thursday.

Algeria sacked Belmadi last month after the two-time winners crashed out of the Africa Cup of Nations following a shock loss to Mauritania in their final group game.

Swiss Petkovic, 60, has been free since his dismissal as coach of French side Bordeaux in February 2022 during a season which saw the club relegated to Ligue 2.

Petkovic, who was born in Sarajevo, also coached Switzerland to the Euro 2020 quarter-finals.

Belmadi, 47, led Algeria to the Africa Cup of Nations title in 2019. 

But the north Africans were eliminated early from the 2022 tournament and failed to qualify for the World Cup in Qatar that year.

In five and a half years at the head of the national side, Belmadi oversaw 64 matches with 41 victories, 17 draws and just six defeats. 

But the absence of the slightest victory during the last two Africa Cup of Nations proved fatal for the former Marseille player. 

After two friendly matches scheduled against Bolivia and South Africa in March, Algeria will face Guinea and Uganda in June as part of 2026 World Cup qualifiers.

Algeria are top of their World Cup qualifying group G after two wins in two matches.

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