Former Portugual national coach Humberto Coelho will take over from France's Roger Lemerre as Tunisia coach, the Tunisian Football Federation (FTF) confirmed on Monday.

The FTF said in a statement that "the contract between both parties will be signed immediately".

Weekly newspaper Tunis Hebdo reported earlier in the day that Coelho had signed a three-year contract and would take over when Lemerre's contract ends on 30 June.

The news comes the day after Tunisia's 2-1 defeat to Burkina Faso in their opening qualifier for the African Nations Cup and 2010 FIFA World Cup™.

France's Jacques Santini had been due to take over as coach but pulled out of the deal following a disagreement over the date of his contract and his deputy's nationality.

Coelho, 58, started his playing career with Portuguese club Ramaldese CF and later played for Benfica and French club Paris Saint Germain.

Most of his coaching career has been spent in Portugal where he led club sides Sporting Braga and Salgueiros Porto. He also coached Portugal (1997-2000), Morocco (2000-02) and South Korean (2003-04).