Monday, October 22, 2018, 06:14:54 AM

Spain appoint Hierro as new coach after Lopetegui sacking

Sports Desk |
Update: 2018-06-13 9:39:00 AM
Spain appoint Hierro as new coach after Lopetegui sacking
Fernando Hierro, the new head coach of Spain, photo collected

Fernando Hierro has been appointed Spain coach for the World Cup after the dismissal of Julen Lopetegui.

Lopetegui was sacked this morning after it was announced he would be the next manager of Real Madrid following the World Cup.

But the Spanish federation opted to move him on now, despite having just two days before their opening match.

And former Real Madrid and Spain centre-back Hierro will take over throughout the tournament in Russia.

“Fernando Hierro will assume the position of national coach in the World Championship of Russia and will appear before the media accompanied by the president of the RFEF, Luis Rubiales,” a statement read.

“Next, he will direct his first training and on Friday he will debut in Sochi at the premiere of Spain against Portugal.

"The RFEF calls the media at 6:30 p.m. (local time, 5:30 p.m. Spanish time) in the Krasnodar Stadium press room.”

Spain play Portugal on Friday evening in their World Cup opener, but their plans have been left in chaos after the Lopetegui affair.

Real Madrid announced he would be Zinedine Zidane’s replacement following the World Cup.

But RFEF president Luis Rubiales took the decision to dismiss him instead.

“The coach, while he is a RFEF employee cannot do things in this way. I found out with a phone call five minutes before the official announcement. We feel obliged to take this decision," Rubiales told a news conference at the team base in Krasnodar.

Spain sack head coach Julen day before the World Cup"If anyone wants to talk to one of our employees, they have to speak to us, too. It's that basic. This is a Spain national team that represents all Spaniards, it's the most important team we have and the World Cup is the biggest stage of them all.

"I don't feel betrayed, the problem is that things have been done with the complete absence of the RFEF, which is something (we) cannot let go by."

Spain, one of the pre-tournament favourites and winners in 2010, also face Morocco and Iran in their group in Russia.

Rubiales added there were no hard feelings towards Lopetegui, who replaced Vicente del Bosque following Euro 2016.

"We want to thank Julen for all he's done and he's a big reason behind us being in Russia, but we feel obliged to dispense with his services," he said.

"There has to be a message to all RFEF employees and there are ways of behaving that you need to abide by."

BDST: 1940 HRS, JUNE 13, 2018

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