Confusion Abounds Surrounding Faouzi Benzarti’s Position At Esperance

The Tunisian tactician is rumored to no longer want to coach the “Blood and Gold” outfit.

According to, Esperance Sportive de Tunis manager Faouzi Benzarti is on the verge of quitting his post after seeing his side uncharacteristically lose a home match against ES Hammam Sousse on Saturday. The coach was reportedly furious with his team and even suspected that some of the players and part of his technical staff betrayed him by “selling” the match to relegation-threatened ESHS.

The loss to the Hammam Sousse based outfit was apparently rendered even more difficult to swallow for the manager given that it indirectly led to the relegation of both AS Kasserine and US Monastir. Benzarti, who is a native of Monastir and an ardent supporter of his mother club, is said to have been so upset with the result that he has voiced his decision to quit as Esperance coach even though he has a contract that runs until the summer of 2011.

Many football fans in the north African country believe that Benzarti is using the situation in order to free himself up for the Tunisian national team coaching job. However, there are conflicting reports from various news outlets indicating that the tactician has vowed never to coach in Tunisia again after what happened at the weekend.

Tunisian Football Federation spokesman Anouar Haddad has told Mosaique FM that even if the rumor of his resignation is true, the Federal Bureau will only consider hiring him if they receive assurances that Esperance have accepted his sudden departure.

“The Federal Bureau will only recruit him after his club agrees. With what’s going on with Benzarti right now, even if he unilaterally cut ties with Esperance without their accord, we can’t hire him. We always work with our clubs, everyone is equal,” he said.

“If there is an agreementm then that’s another story. If Esperance accepts then okay, but if it’s just him making the decision, then this isn’t going to happen.”

Meanwhile, Haddad also confirmed that Benzarti had met with FTF President Ali Hafsi in recent days but said that nothing regarding the eventuality of him coaching the Carthage Eagles came up. Instead, he claimed that the coach was simply returning a car that was lent to him by the Federation while he was preparing the Tunisian national team for their participation at the 2010 African Cup of Nations in Angola.

“It’s true that he met up with Ali Hafsi, I was there at the Federation when he came. He came because he was asked to return the car that was put at his disposal for the African Cup of Nations. That’s what happened. He gave the car back, said hello, and went on his way without speaking about the subject of him coaching the national team,” he said.

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