German-born Algerian to coach S Sudan national team

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[Juba, South Sudan, TCT] Newly appointed South Sudan national football head coach Ahcene Ait-Abdelmelek arrived in Juba on Monday to prepare the country’s national team ahead of the African Cup of Nations.

Last month, the South Sudan national governing body named the German-born Algerian, as the new head coach of Bright Stars.

The Algerian national succeeded former interim manager, Bilal Felix, after signing a one year contract. He promised to unveil his plans for the national team in few months.

“I am happy to be in South Sudan for the first time, and I believe with time I will adapt to the environment. After one or two months we can give you more information about the national football team,” said Abdelmelek.

Abdelmelek is tasked with preparing the country for the upcoming African Cup of Nations or AFCON qualifier against Mali in September. Abdelmalek previously coached the Burundi national team, Mali’s club Djoliba AC and other clubs in Europe. He becomes the fourth foreign coach to manage the East African nation’s football team after the departure of South Korea’s Lee Sung-Jea, Serbian Zoran Dordevic and Uganda’s Leo Adraa.

South Sudan’s national football association was established in 2011, following the country’s independence from Sudan. Since then it was affiliated to Federation International de Football Association (FIFA) in May 2012, CAF and CECAFA same year.

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