Spanish Football Association has appointed its sporting director, Fernando Hierro as replacement for coach Julen Lopetegui after his sack early Wednesday, barely 24 hours to the World Cup.
Lopetegui had apparently drawn the ire of the Spanish football authorities after he was announced as Real Madrid’s coach on Tuesday. According to sources, the coach was accused of violating the terms of his contract after he signed a two-year extension to the existing one only on May 22.
Spanish FA president, Luis Rubiales made the disclosure on Wednesday after arriving at the team’s camp in Russia Tuesday night to deal with the issue.
Rubiales said it was imperative for the Spanish FA to axe Lopetegui who failed to honour the terms of his contract which stipulated that he was obligated to be transparent in the event of overtures from other would be interested employers in the future.
He said, “ We have decided to fire the national coach. What we have achieved in getting here is due to his great part, and we must thank him and wish him luck”
“The Spanish national team is the team of all the Spaniards. We only found out just five minutes before that he was leaving for Madrid”
“There is a way that you must act, Julen has worked in a great way with the team, but we cannot accept how he has acted in this case,” Rubailes said.
With 48 hours to their opening group B game against a Cristiano Ronaldo’s inspired Portugal, the La Furia Roja will now have to brace up for the sudden change to avoid a repetition of their poor outing in Brazil 2014 where they could not make it past the group stage.