Abdelhak Ben Chikha has officially been selected to coach the Algerian national team following the resignation of Rabah Saadane after the Fennecs’ disappointing home draw against Tanzania in 2012 AFCON qualifying. It had previously been reported that Ben Chikha would be named caretaker coach but FAF President Mohamed Raouraoua has given him the job permanently with a contract that lasts until 2012.
"This nomination comes in response to the federation's desire to have confidence in top Algerian coaches in one part and in another part to ensure the stability of the national team set-up at a moment when it's in the middle of qualifiers for the Africa Cup of Nations in 2012," said the FAF in a statement released to the press.
Ben Chikha’s first order of business will be to win Algeria’s next match in Bangul against the Central African Republic on October 8. Until this latest development, the 46 year old who managed to lead Tunisia’s Club Africain to the league title in 2008 after a 12 year wait was coach of both the Algerian Olympic team and domestic national team which he helped qualify for the upcoming 2011 African Championship of Nations.
It is believed that Raouraoua originally recruited him two years ago with the intention of easing him into Saadane’s position. Ben Chikha’s appointment isn’t the only change affecting the Greens as the team’s technical staff is also expected to be bolstered to improve results.
The man Club Africain fans took to calling “El General” is regarded as an excellent motivator with a fiery temperament. Fennecs supporters will be hoping his no nonsense attitude will have a positive effect on their national side which has been struggling since the end of their heroic 2010 World Cup qualifying campaign.