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Milovan Rajevac Relinquishes Managerial Role as Algeria National Team Coah After a Short Spell

Algeria’s coach, Milovan Rajevac, has resigned from the national team just two days after Algeria were held to a 1-1 draw by Cameroon on Sunday. Rajevac was also in charge of the 6-0 win over Lesotho in the last round of 2017 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) Gabon qualifiers.

News of the 62-year-old’s exit broke on Algeria government television followed by an official statement from the Algeria Football Federation (FAF) expected on Wednesday.

A meeting was held between the president of the FAF, Mohammed Raouraoua and Rajevac, at the technical center of Sidi Moussa (Algiers) to decide the Serbian’s fate following the draw. But It is believed that Rajevac informed Raouraoua on Tuesday of his decision to resign from his post.

The FAF confirmed on Tuesday that the Serbian was indeed no longer with the national team. The federation released an official statement on their website saying, “Mr. Milovan Rajevac resigned today, Tuesday, October 11, 2016 from the post of national coach of the Algerian team.” 

It is also understood that the players were a big influence in Rajevac’s resignation after a disappointing start to their Group B campaign.

The Algerian Press Service (APS) said that the Serbian’s tactics were criticized in the 1-1 draw game in Blida, and may have led to the former Ghana coach’s sacking.

“The Algerian Football Federation have decided to amicably terminate the contract of Milovan Rajevac,” the station reported.

With strong players such as Islam Slimani and Riyad Mahrez, Algeria has developed a powerful and united front whose displeasure in the coaching methods, was not taken lightly.

Players led a dressing-room revolt and openly blamed Rajevac after the disappointing result against Cameroon. The APS also added that the team had hoped to make a winning start to a difficult group.

Rajevac was initially a long-term replacement plan for Christian Gourcuff who stood down from the position in April this year. The former was named Algeria’s coach in June and was expected to overcome some challenging objectives as part of his contract.

Upon his signing, the Algerian administration stated that the Fennec Foxes must reach at least the semifinals of the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations in Gabon and secure qualification for the 2018 World Cup. Algeria are drawn in the ‘group of death’ alongside Nigeria, Cameroon and Zambia in their bid to qualify for Russia 2018.

After just few months and two matches in charge, the Serbian’s coaching career with the North Africans comes to an end with reports of Rajevac struggling to withstand mounting pressure around the team who are hoping to make history by reaching the World Cup for a third consecutive time.

Algeria reached the last 16 of the 2014 World Cup but are up against difficult qualifying opponents whose group can only take a winner to the finals.

The Desert Foxes prepare to face group leaders, Nigeria on Nov. 12 at the Godswill Akpabio stadium in Uyo and assistant coaches Nabil Neghiz and Yazid Mansouri are expected to assume Rajevac’s role on an interim basis while a search for the latter’s successor is in process.

The 2017 AFCON Gabon favorites are currently ranked second on the continent behind Côte D’Ivoire (2015 AFCON winners).

Before Rajevac’s signing for the North Africans, FAF spent a considerable and lengthy amount of time in finding a replacement for Gourcuff, a plan intended at its highest level of importance, they had to get the right man. Previous experience in African football and the FIFA World Cup were minimum requirements for anyone looking to fill up the post.

Rajevac helped Ghana qualify for the 2010 World Cup during his three-year spell with the team, between ’08 and ’10 where the Black Stars reached the quarter finals in an impressive World Cup showdown for Africans.

Featured Photo: Milovan Rajevac resigns from his post as Algeria’s national team coach (Getty Images)

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