Tunisia and coach Leekens part ways

Tunisia and Belgian coach George Leekens have parted ways, the national football federation (FTF) confirmed Sunday.

The move comes just two weeks after hosts Tunisia crushed Djibouti 8-1 in a 2017 Africa Cup of Nations matchday 1 qualifier.

Leekens guided Tunisia to the 2015 Cup of Nations quarter-finals before suffering a controversial defeat by hosts Equatorial Guinea.

A hotly-disputed stoppage-time penalty enabled the Equatoguineans to equalise and they triumphed 2-1 after extra time.

An FTF statement read in part: "We have decided (on) an amicable separation between the two parties without any payment on the part of FTF or George Leekens."

The wording hints at Leekens, whose contract with Tunisia ran to March 2016, having lined up alternate employment.

Reigning African champions Ivory Coast are seeking a coach after Frenchman Herve Renard resigned to join Ligue 1 club Lille.

Another possibility is that the 66-year-old was concerned about his safety following the seaside massacre of 38 tourists by an Islamist gunman in eastern Tunisia two days ago.

Officials said Leekens would be replaced by another foreign coach.

The next Cup of Nations qualifying engagement for the 'Carthage Eagles' is away to Liberia during September.

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