World Cup 2018 Spain fires coach on eve of World Cup

Spain fires coach on eve of World Cup

Just two days before its World Cup campaign starts, Spain, one of the favorites to win the competition, was thrown into chaos Wednesday after the country’s soccer federation fired the team’s coach, Julen Lopetegui.

Luis Rubiales, president of the governing body for soccer in Spain, said at a news conference at the team’s training facility in Krasnodar, Russia, that Lopetegui had been dismissed.

The decision came after reports emerged Tuesday that Lopetegui had agreed to become coach of Real Madrid, the reigning European club champions and one of the world’s biggest teams, after the World Cup.

Rubiales, who was in Moscow for the vote to determine the host of the 2026 tournament, was informed of Lopetegui’s post-World Cup plans only a few minutes before the coach’s appointment by Real Madrid was formally announced.

Rubiales immediately left Moscow for Krasnodar to have talks with Lopetegui, who had signed a contract extension less than a month ago.

On Wednesday morning, a delegation of players tried to persuade Rubiales to retain Lopetegui, arguing that it would minimize disruption, but their pleas were rejected.

Rubiales said that he had made the decision not because Lopetegui had agreed to take another job after the tournament, but because Spanish soccer officials had not been informed about the discussions or warned about the announcement.

“The federation cannot remain on the margins of a negotiation for one of its employees,” he said.

Rory Smith © 2018 New York Times News Service

Top Stories

Attica in ‘orange alert’ state – new emergency covid measures announced

Deputy Civil Protection and Crises Management Minister Nikos Hardalias has announced emergency measures aiming to contain the spread of the coronavirus in Attica. A daily...

Kiti Bishop Nektarios test positive to the coronavirus

Kiti Bishop Nektarios (pictured) has, according to information, tested positive for the coronavirus. It is reminded that the Bishop after coming into contact with one...

Seven new coronavirus cases detected out of 3,039 tests

The Ministry of Health has announced that 7 new cases of the SARS-CoV-II virus were detected in Cyprus over the past 24 hours out...

There will be covid cases at schools but an outbreak must be avoided, Dr. Pana says

There will be positive COVID-19 cases at schools, but we must aim at avoiding an outbreak through contamination points, said Zoe-Dorothea Pana, a Lecturer...

Mitsotakis and Tsiodras sound alarm over rise in coronavirus cases, especially in Attica

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and the health ministry's representative for the novel coronavirus pandemic, epidemiology expert Dr. Sotiris Tsiodras, sounded the alarm over the...


Chicken with okra and bulgur wheat

Heat the oil in a pan and sauté the okra until golden. Remove the okra, lay out in an oven tray and sprinkle with...

Swordfish with aubergines

To toast the sesame seeds: place sesame seeds in a small non-stick frying pan over low heat and stir until you begin to smell...


Just a little before serving, heat the broth and add the ravioli. (If the ravioli is frozen you don’t have to defrost). Heat them...

Seafood kebab with avocado salad

Place the mussels, shrimps and salmon in a bowl together with tarragon and lemon zest. Season and cover, keeping in the fridge for 15...