ACL contenders Al Duhail appoint World Cup coach Nabil Maaloul

Gabriel Tan Gabriel Tan

Qatari giants Al Duhail have appointed a new coach in Nabil Maaloul, who just last month was leading Tunisia at the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

Maaloul was handed the reins on Thursday evening and takes over from Djamel Belmadi, who has guided the club to much success in recent times.

According to the Asian Football Confederation’s official website, Al Duhail cited “special reasons” for their parting of ways with Belmadi, who has been heavily linked to the Algeria national team job.

Under Belmadi, Al Duhail became the first team in Qatar to claim the treble as they won the league, Qatar Cup and Emir of Qatar Cup last season.

In addition, the Red Knights are also through to the quarter-finals of the AFC Champions League and are among the favourites to go all the way, having won all eight of their continental matches thus far in 2018.

Although a managerial change is far from ideal in the midst of a title charge, Al Duhail will hiring an experienced tactician who is no stranger to Qatari football.

Maaloul was in charge of El Jaish – who merged with Lekhwiya to form Al Duhail – in 2014 and then had a two-year spell at the helm of Kuwait before his most recent job with Tunisia, which saw him taking on England, Belgium and Panama at the World Cup.