New FA boss Kheireddine Zetchi wants to get Algeria back on track

Kheireddine Zetchi
Kheireddine Zetchi replaces Mohamed Raouraoua as head of the Algeria Football Federation after 12 years in charge

The new president of Algeria's football federation, Kheireddine Zetchi, wants to get the national team back on track and develop the local game.

Zetchi was elected unopposed on Monday after incumbent, Mohamed Raouraoua, refused to stand for a third consecutive term.

Algeria failed to get out of their group at the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations in Gabon.

"There are priorities, namely the appointment of a coach," Zetchi said.

He has set a deadline of two weeks to find a new coach to replace Belgian George Leekens, who resigned in January after the Nations Cup failure.

Zetchi's other aims for the Algeria Football Federation:
Install CCTV cameras in every stadium to improve crowd safetyBroadcast amateur matches
Revamp the commission for match officials Ensure more diversity within the federation

"I cannot mention names, but we do have CVs that we will study with the members of the federal bureau," he continued.

"We will opt for the candidate who corresponds to our brand of football - we all agree that Algerian football is centred on short passes and dribbling."

Zetchi, who is also the president of second division champions Paradou Athletic, wants to develop the game in Algeria as well.

Two of his main aims are to reform the committee that deals with financial fair play (DNCG) and set up four regional academies across the country.

"Our most important project is the rehabilitation of Algerian football and that means reforming amateur football," he continued.

"The role of the DNCG is not to punish, it is to help clubs balance their budget.

"If, from next season, we prohibit clubs from operating in deficit or debt, that will be a significant step towards financial fair play."

His predecessor Raouraoua had asked all local clubs to invest in academies, Zetchi has admitted that such a goal may be unrealistic.

"The outgoing president has left financial means for the federation and this must be spent to football development, which means the building of academies," Zetchi explained.

"We will invite clubs to invest alongside us until clubs can build their own academies and be autonomous."

Zetchi's club will play in the Algerian top-flight next season after two successive promotions with a team made-up of young players while the youth sides have also enjoyed success at a national level.

He set up Paradou in 1994 after making his money in ceramics and then founded Algeria's first academy in 2007.

The project is run by Jean-Marc Guillou Academies, who previously worked with Asec Mimosas in Ivory Coast, which produced the likes of the Toure brothers and Salomon Kalou.

Zetchi's appointment brings to an end 12 years in charge for Raouraoua, during which time he was was credited with reviving Algerian football in the international arena.

During his tenure, Algeria qualified for two World Cup finals and five Africa Cup of Nations tournaments.

The former Caf Executive Committee member will also be remembered for petitioning Fifa in 2009 to change its statutes to allow players switch international allegiance even after the age of 21.

Despite these successes critics have accused Raouraoua of neglecting local football at the expense of the national team.

Zetchi looks like he has his work cut out for him both locally and internationally with Algeria at the bottom of their 2018 World Cup qualifying group with a single point from their two matches so far.

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