Major Shake-Up as Tunisian Club ‘Sacks’ Coach and Sports Director
Heads are rolling at Tunisian club, Etoile du Sahel beginning with the reported sacking of head coach Hubert Velud and Sports director Zied Jaziri following the side’s disappointing exit in the Total CAF Champions League.
Sahel lost on a woeful 7-4 aggregate in the semi-final of the CL, spelling an end to their hopes of scooping the gong. Chairman, Ridha Charfeddine prioritized the desire to perform well in the CL, investing heavily by sanctioning the signings of several new players in a bid towards attaining his target.
Erstwhile French footballer and coach Hubert was given a bullish ultimatum – behind closed doors before the start of the season – to either deliver the Cup or get axed. And when Egyptian side Al Ahly was already 4-0 up in the first of the two-legged meetings in Cairo, Velud knew his days were numbered.
It wasn’t that the 58-year-old couldn’t overturn the result in the second-leg, but on account that an emergency executive meeting was summoned hours after the defeat in Cairo to decide his future, left Hubert livid and dispirited, a source told Ducorsports.
The return fixture in Tunis, which ended in a 2-1 win for Sahel, did little to improve Hubert’s already strained ties with the board. Supporters chanting ‘get out’ during Sunday’s make or break game merely alienated the former TP Mazembe coach, giving chairman Ridha chance to wield his ax beginning with the French coach as the first victim.
More heads are expected to roll in a major shake-up as Zied Jaziri and Houcine Jenayeh, who have all been backers of Hubert, are also said to have been shown the exit door. The departure of Hubert creates a void and a replacement is on the verge of being lined up with Etoile Sportive du Sahel’s owners said to have contacted Chiheb Ellili as a possible replacement for the managerial role. Hoalid Ragragui head coach of FUS Rabat is also one of the names linked to the Etoile Sportive job.
Elsewhere, Club Africain is also said to be in the hunt for a replacement for Italian coach Marco Simeone who is tipped to leave by the end of this week. Simeone couldn’t take Africain beyond the semis of the CAF Confederation Cup after losing to South Africa’s Super Sport, which has had fans calling for his departure.
It was thought that he would leave on Wednesday night before he showed up the following day at the club’s training ground to lead normal practice. Tension is brewing at the capital-based outfit with the board already reported to have discreetly made inquiries about the availability of Sportive Esperance’s coach Ammar Souayah.
Featured Photo: Reuters