Former Switzerland coach Petkovic hired by Algeria for 2026 World Cup qualifying

AP , Thursday 29 Feb 2024

The coach who helped Switzerland to eliminate then-world champion France at the last European Championship was hired to coach Algeria on Thursday through qualifying for the 2026 World Cup.

Vladimir Petkovic
FILE - Bordeaux's head coach Vladimir Petkovic reacts after the French League One football match between Marseille and Bordeaux at the Velodrome stadium in Marseille, southern France, Aug. 15, 2021. Photo: AP


Vladimir Petkovic will arrive in Algiers this weekend. A news conference is scheduled on Monday, the Algeria Football Federation said in a statement.

Petkovic’s seven-year spell with Switzerland ended after the team was beaten in the Euro 2020 quarterfinals by Spain in a penalty shootout.

Switzerland beat France on penalties in the round of 16 after scoring two late goals in regulation time of a thrilling 3-3 draw.

Petkovic left to coach French club Bordeaux but was fired during his first season in February 2022. Algeria is his first coaching job since then.

The 60-year-old, Sarajevo-born Petkovic replaces Djamel Belmadi, who resigned in January after Algeria failed to advance from the Africa Cup of Nations group stage. Algeria was the African champion in 2019.

Algeria also failed to qualify for the past two World Cups though leads a six-team qualifying group for the 2026 tournament after winning its first two games. The group winner will qualify to play in North America.

Petkovic coached Switzerland to the 2018 World Cup, where it drew with Brazil and beat Serbia in the group stage before losing in the round of 16 to Sweden.

Algeria resumes qualifying for 2026 in June with games at home to Guinea and away to Uganda. His first games in charge will be friendlies at home against Bolivia on March 22 and South Africa on March 26.

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