Tunisia fire coach Kebaier after Afcon exit

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Tunisia sacked coach Mondher Kebaier on Sunday, a day after the team’s elimination from the Africa Cup of Nations and two months before they compete in World Cup playoffs for a place at the tournament in Qatar.

A Tunisia Football Federation statement said Kebaier would be replaced by his assistant Jalel Kadri, who took his place on the bench for Tunisia’s win over Nigeria in the last-16 when Kebaier was in quarantine after testing positive for COVID-19.

Tunisia lost two of their three group matches but still squeezed into the knockout stages of the tournament in Cameroon as one of the four best third-placed finishers.

They then upset Nigeria, despite Kebaier and many key players being absent after a novel coronavirus outbreak in their camp, only to go down 1-0 to Burkina Faso in the quarter-finals on Saturday.

The 50-year-old Kadri has coached extensively at club level in Tunisia and in the Middle East but this is his first national team appointment.

Tunisia play Mali over two legs at the end of March with the winner qualifying for November’s World Cup finals.