World Cup Today; Spain coach fired two days before opener

Three weeks ago, Julen Lopetegui signed a contract extension to remain as the head coach of the Spanish national team through 2020.

On Tuesday, Real Madrid announced Lopetegui would be Zinedine Zidane's successor as head coach.

On Wednesday, while the FIFA Congress was going on in Moscow, Luis Rubiales, the president of the Spanish federation, fired Lopetegui after meeting with him in Krasnodar, where La Roja, one of the World Cup favorites, is based.

Rubiales says he was given the news of Lopetugui's hiring by Real Madrid president Florentino Perez five minutes before Tuesday’s announcement by the reigning European champion. Players pleaded with Rubiales not to fire Lopetegui, but the new Spanish federation president said the situation was untenable.

Former Real Madrid star Fernando Hierro, who has been working as the Spanish federation's director of football, will replace Lopetegui, overseeing training on Thursday and coaching the team against Portugal on Friday in its World Cup opener.

"It is a nice challenge and an exciting one," Hierro said after being introduced by Rubiales. "The circumstances are what they are and from now on I accept the responsibility bravely, it can't be any other way. We have a group of players who have been together for two years to work towards the World Cup and I have been sporting director, so I understand the motivation is huge."We cannot alter two years of hard work in the coming days.



2 comments about "World Cup Today; Spain coach fired two days before opener".
  1. James Madison, June 13, 2018 at 7:05 p.m.

    Strange are the ways of the world. "You think you are big enough to take another job while you have this one?!"

  2. Bob Ashpole, June 13, 2018 at 9:03 p.m.

    Inexplicable except in terms of a bruised ego. "You cannot resign because I have fired you first."

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