Afcon claims its first coaching casualty

The head of Mozambique’s national football association said coach Mart Nooij will be fired after the team failed to reach the Africa Cup of Nations quarterfinals in Angola, state media said on Thursday.

Speaking in Lubango, after the Mambas’ 3-0 loss to Nigeria on Wednesday, Feizal Sidat, president of the Mozambican Football Federation, said Nooij’s contract will not be renewed when it expires at the end of January.

“We aren’t going to renew our contract with him. He has already worked with the Mambas for two-and-a-half years,” Sidat told Radio Mozambique.

“We are going to remodel our coaching team. The results haven’t corresponded to the expectations.”

Dutchman Nooij coached Mozambique to its first Nations Cup qualification in 12 years.

But the team also had disappointing results in several key matches.

It failed to win a game in its group C matches in Angola, taking only one point in a 1-1 draw with Benin.

According to Radio Mozambique, team captain Manuel “Tico Tico” Bucuane has also left the squad after Angola.

Bucuane, a striker who has played for the Mambas for almost two decades, said the Nigeria game was his last before retirement.

“My exit didn’t happen how I imagined it.
I would have liked to say good-bye with a qualification for the quarterfinals,” said Bucuane, quoted in an article on the Radio Mozambique web site.

“But football is like that,” he said. “When we commit errors, as we did, we can’t win.”—AFP

Client Media Releases

NWU takes sports development to new heights
UKZN scientists receive multimillion-rand research award