The Libyan national team have sacked Spanish coach Javier Clemente in reaction to the disappointing 4-0 loss to the Democratic Republic of Congo in World Cup qualifying this past weekend.
The Mediterranean Knights were put to the sword in Kinshasa on Saturday in uncompromising fashion. A brace from Dieumerci Mbokani added to goals from Firmin Ndombe Mubele and Jonathan Bolingi to ensure that Libya’s Group A mission started off on the wrong foot.
Clemente is no longer the Libyan head coach, as a result of the loss, having occupied the post since September 2013. He took the team to glory at the 2014 African Nations Championship in South Africa despite not winning any of the knockout round games in regular time, prevailing on penalty shootouts in the quarter-final, semi-final as well as in the final against Ghana.
The 66-year-old previously coached Spain between 1992 and 1998, and the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon from 2010 to 2011. Meanwhile, his club coaching career has seen him take charge of Atletico Madrid and French club Marseille, along with a selection of other Spanish sides.
The Libyan national team is in disarray at the moment and although Clemente has now taken the fall, he cannot be blamed for the lack of quality players at his disposal and difficulties within the Libyan setup.
Any coach that takes over from the Spaniard will find himself in a tight spot: with only the top-placed nation securing a Russia 2018 spot, it is highly unlikely that the north Africans will make their World Cup debut in two years’ time. DR Congo, Tunisia and Guinea look better placed to finish ahead of the Knights when all is said and done next November.