Algeria coach steps down

  • Last Updated: July 7 2014, 13:58 BST

Vahid Halilhodzic has confirmed his decision to resign as Algeria coach despite pleas for him to stay on from the country's president.

Vahid Halilhodzic: Expected to take over at Trabzonspor
Vahid Halilhodzic: Expected to take over at Trabzonspor

Algeria coach Vahid Halilhodzic has resigned following the Fennec Foxes' successful World Cup campaign.

The Bosnian saw Algeria into the knockout stages for the first time in their history in Brazil before an extra-time defeat to Germany in the last 16.

He announced his departure in a statement on the official website of the Algerian Football Federation (FAF), which read: "I am proud of my record after serving out my contract with the FAF.

"Having lived for three years in Algeria, my family obligations and the attraction of new sporting challenges weighed heavily on my decision."

Speculation in the media has linked Halilhodzic with Turkish Super Lig side Trabzonspor.

Algeria's World Cup exploits won them many admirers, not least in their buccaneering 4-2 win over South Korea in Group H.

They also drew with Russia and took the lead against much-fancied Belgium en route to second place in the group behind Marc Wilmots' side, before pushing Joachim Low's Germany all the way.

That led to calls for 61-year-old Halilhodzic to stay on, including from the country's president.

Halilhodzic added: "I want to thank, first of all, his Excellency President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, whose warm words profoundly touched me.

"I also want to thank Prime Minister Abdelmalek Sellal for his encouragement and kind wishes, and the president of the FAF, Mohamed Raouraoua, with whom have worked for three years to realise our objectives and who put at my disposal a squad with all the necessary means to achieve this difficult mission.

"I wish to pay tribute to the players and the technical, medical and administrative staff who gave me every assistance throughout this mission.

"The wonderful Algerian public wished me well since the day I first arrived and have remained loyal to me. I will always keep the fond memory of the extraordinary welcome they gave us on our return from the World Cup."

His outpouring of thanks was not entirely without exception, though.

"The only sour note, which I want to confront, is the behaviour of certain - though thankfully not all - members of the press, who never ceased to stigmatise not only my work but also me and my family," he said. "I will never forget nor forgive that."