Johannesburg (AFP) – Libya sacked Spanish coach Javier Clemente Sunday after a 4-0 World Cup thrashing in the Democratic Republic of Congo the previous evening.

The match was the first in Group A, which includes Tunisia and Guinea, and immediately put the Mediterranean Knights on the back foot.

Only the group winners after a double round qualify for the 2018 tournament in Russia.

Clemente, a 66-year-old who has also coached Serbia and Cameroon, numerous clubs in his homeland and Marseille, was due to leave in November when his contract expired.

But a Libyan Football Federation spokesman said he had been fired with immediate effect and an unnamed foreign coach will handle the matchday 2 clash with Tunisia in Egypt next month.

Clemente was the coach when Libya surprisingly won the 2014 African Nations Championship for home-based footballers, beating Ghana on penalties after a goalless final in Cape Town.

Post Moamer Kadhafi era violence between rival militias fighting for political power and control of vast oil wealth has forced Libyan national teams and clubs to use neutral venues for home fixtures.

The federation announced recently that the three home World Cup fixtures would be staged in Egypt with Cairo the likely venue.