Spanish football federation chief Luis Rubiales confirmed on Wednesday that Spain has sacked it’s football coach, Julen Lopetegui, just two days before the team’s opening game against Portugal at the World Cup.
This shocking announcement came hours after an announcement that Lopetegui would take over at Real Madrid next season.
The Tuesday’s pronouncement sparked outrage among both 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 Association President, Luis Rubiales said the association felt “obliged to sack the national team manager.”
Lopetegui had reportedly signed a contract extension until 2020 just last month.
Via the official twitter page of the Royal Spanish Football Federation’s (RFEF), Rubiales added that, “RFEF cannot be sitting on the sidelines whilst someone negotiates with one of its employees and then find out five minutes later before the news is made public.”
“It’s a difficult and painful situation, and we would have liked for it to have finished differently with Julen. But we didn’t plan the way it played out.
“We are all affected by this, but we have to think about what is best for the whole of RFEF and the national team.
“I’m sure in time, we will be stronger for this decision. We wish him the best of luck.”
No decision has yet been made over who will take charge with Spain due to face European champions Portugal in Sochi on Friday.