Spain manager Lopetegui sacked a day before World Cup 2018

Lopetegui was appointed Real Madrid manager on three-year deal and was due to take over at Spanish club after World Cup.

    Lopetegui began coaching as Spain U17's assistant manager in 2003 [Reuters]
    Lopetegui began coaching as Spain U17's assistant manager in 2003 [Reuters]

    Spain have confirmed the sacking of their football team manager Julen Lopetegui just 24 hours before the start of the World Cup 2018 in Russia.

    The Spanish Football Federation confirmed the sacking of Lopetegui, who is due to take over at Real Madrid next month, on Wednesday, just two days before the team's opening World Cup game against Portugal.

    At a press conference, Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) President Luis Rubiales said the federation was "forced" to sack Lopetegui after it found out about his appointment five minutes before the announcement was made.

    "We have been forced to dispense with the national coach. We wish you the greatest of luck," said Rubiales.

    "The negotiation has occurred without any information to the RFEF. Just five minutes before the press release. There's a way to act that needs to be fulfilled. It's the Spanish team. You can not do things this way.

    "I admire Julen a lot, I respect him a lot, I think he's a top trainer and that makes it more difficult to make the decision. I don't feel betrayed. Lopetegui, while he's been with us, has done impeccable work.

    Lopetegui's replacement would be announced "soon", added Rubiales.

    Fifty-one year old Lopetegui is due to take over at European Champions Real Madrid next month after Zinedine Zidane, who led the Spanish club to three successive Champions League titles, stepped down last month.

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

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and news agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    'We scoured for days without sleeping, just clothes on our backs'

    'We scoured for days without sleeping, just clothes on our backs'

    The Philippines’ Typhoon Haiyan was the strongest storm ever to make landfall. Five years on, we revisit this story.

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    Daughters of al-Shabab

    Daughters of al-Shabab

    What draws Kenyan women to join al-Shabab and what challenges are they facing when they return to their communities?