Georges Leekens Steps Down After Algeria’s Surprise AFCON Exit.
Algerian Football Federation has officially announced that Georges Leekens has resigned as head coach after their failure to qualify for the knockout phase of the Africa Cup of Nations.
In an official statement, the AFF cleared the air on the matter saying,
[perfectpullquote align=”full” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]“In the aftermath of the early elimination of the national team in the first round of 2017 Africa Cup of Nations, Georges Leekens resigned from his position as national coach.[/perfectpullquote]
“After his resignation, Mr. Leekens thanked all members of the technical, medical and administrative staff for their collaboration. Mr Leekens wishes the members of his staff a lot of success for the rest of their careers.”
Georges Leekens meeting the Federation staff to hand in his resignation. (Twitter)
After the match, the Belgian suggested that he was keen to stay in charge of ‘Les Fennecs’ for the Russia 2018 World Cup qualifiers, but the FAF confirmed on Tuesday, 24th January that the 67-year-old had agreed to step aside from his duties.
Leekens took over the reins of ‘Les Fennecs’ last October replacing Serbian, Milovan Rajevac, who had also resigned after a disappointing 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier against Cameroon in Blida.
Algeria needed a win against Senegal in its last group match to secure a qualification spot in Group D, but Senegal also had other plans in mind. A 2-2 draw on Monday saw Algeria lose the spot which did not go well with many of the fans.
Leekens hit social media after the decision, wishing the Algerians the best.
“Given the pressure exerted on the federation and the national team, I’ve opted to end my contract out of friendship with the FAF [Algerian Football Federation] who deserve respect.
[perfectpullquote align=”full” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]”For the benefit of everyone, I prefer to take my leave even if I do so with an aching heart, and I wish everyone in the national team all the success in the world.”[/perfectpullquote]
Algeria was considered favorites to challenge for the trophy but a disappointing draw in the first game against Zimbabwe in the opening fixtures dimmed the team’s chances of progressing past the “group of death.”
A defeat to Tunisia and a subsequent draw with group winners, Senegal, did not help to seal their fate and ultimately that of the coach.
The ‘Les Fennecs’ managed only two draws finishing with two points, five shy of Senegal and four poorer than Tunisia to finish third in group B.
Algeria’s Belgian coach, Georges Leekens, has stepped down after an early exit from the AFCON games. (AFP)