Spain national coach sacked on World Cup eve

Last Updated: Jun 13 2018 17:04

FOOTBALL- Spanish national football team sacked manager Julen Lopetegui on Wednesday, a day before the start of 2018 FIFA World Cup and a day after he was appointed Real Madrid coach.

Lopetegui was due to take up the job of Real Madrid after the conclusion of the World Cup.

Federation president Luis Rubiales told reporters, “We have been forced to dispense with the coach, remembering all the good things he has given us. The RFEF, the national team, is the team of every Spaniard and there are decisions that have to be taken. There has to be a clear message.

“Real Madrid look for a coach and look for the best. I won’t judge a club on how they act but, until a few minutes before, we were kept in the dark. That can’t be ignored.

“I found out [about the deal with Madrid] five minutes beforehand and asked for nothing to be done, that I was getting a plane and coming here.

“But, after five minutes, I saw it in the press and we had to react. We have a responsibility. I know there will be criticism but the values of the RFEF are set by the RFEF itself.”

With Spain playing their first World Cup match on June 15, the national team will quickly aim to fill the vacant spot. Under-21 coach Albert Celades might fill in the position for at least the World Cup.