Spain name Fer­nando Hierro as coach after sack­ing Lopetegui

Daily Messenger - - Sportlight -

KRASNODAR, RUS­SIA: Spain dra­mat­i­cally sacked coach Julen Lopetegui on Wed­nes­day and ap­pointed fed­er­a­tion sport­ing di­rec­tor Fer­nando Hierro -- just two days be­fore the team´s open­ing game at the World Cup.

In a sur­prise an­nounce­ment on Tues­day, Real Madrid ap­pointed Lopetegui as Zine­dine Zi­dane´s suc­ces­sor to take over after the tour­na­ment in Rus­sia, spark­ing out­rage among the fed­er­a­tion and Span­ish fans at the tim­ing of the an­nounce­ment.

At a se­verely de­layed press con­fer­ence at Spain´s World Cup base in Krasnodar, Span­ish foot­ball fed­er­a­tion (RFEF) chief Luis Ru­biales ex­pressed dis­may at the tim­ing of events that threaten to de­rail Spain´s World Cup chances.

"The na­tional team is the team for all Spa­niards and there are some de­ci­sions we feel obliged to take to pro­tect some val­ues," said Ru­biales.

"Ne­go­ti­at­ing is le­git­i­mate but it took place with­out the RFEF be­ing in­formed un­til five min­utes be­fore a press state­ment was re­leased. There has to be a mes­sage for all work­ers in the fed­er­a­tion that there is a right way to do things."

Later Wed­nes­day, Spain named Hierro as the coach for the tour­na­ment in Rus­sia.

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