World Cup flop Spain parts ways with emergency coach Hierro - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

World Cup flop Spain parts ways with emergency coach Hierro

(AP Photo/Victor R. Caivano). Spain head coach Fernando Hierro reacts during the round of 16 match between Spain and Russia at the 2018 soccer World Cup at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, Russia, Sunday, July 1, 2018. (AP Photo/Victor R. Caivano). Spain head coach Fernando Hierro reacts during the round of 16 match between Spain and Russia at the 2018 soccer World Cup at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, Russia, Sunday, July 1, 2018.
(AP Photo/Antonio Calanni). Spain head coach Fernando Hierro reacts after his team lost by penalty shootout during the round of 16 match between Spain and Russia at the 2018 soccer World Cup at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, Russia, Sunday, July 1, 20... (AP Photo/Antonio Calanni). Spain head coach Fernando Hierro reacts after his team lost by penalty shootout during the round of 16 match between Spain and Russia at the 2018 soccer World Cup at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, Russia, Sunday, July 1, 20...
(AP Photo/Antonio Calanni). Spain head coach Fernando Hierro comforts Spain's Koke after his team lost by penalty shootout during the round of 16 match between Spain and Russia at the 2018 soccer World Cup at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, Russia, Sun... (AP Photo/Antonio Calanni). Spain head coach Fernando Hierro comforts Spain's Koke after his team lost by penalty shootout during the round of 16 match between Spain and Russia at the 2018 soccer World Cup at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, Russia, Sun...

MADRID (AP) - Fernando Hierro is out as coach of Spain's national team after less than a month in charge and a disappointing four-game run at the World Cup.

The Spanish federation said Sunday that it wanted "to thank Fernando Hierro for his commitment and for assuming the responsibility of being in charge of the national team during some extraordinary situations."

Hierro was promoted from sporting director to the top job two days before Spain opened the tournament against Portugal. New federation president Luis Rubiales was incensed that previous coach Julen Lopetegui had agreed to take charge at Real Madrid after the World Cup without giving the federation sufficient notice. Lopetegui was summarily fired on June 13 despite a 20-game unbeaten streak that had made Spain one of the favorites coming into the tournament.

Spain drew with Portugal and Morocco and beat Iran 1-0 to win their group, then lost to Russia on penalties after a 1-1 draw in the round of 16, a match in which the Spanish were criticized for completing more than 1,000 passes without producing enough scoring chances.

The federation's statement didn't indicate whether Hierro left voluntarily but said he had declined to return to his previous role as sporting director. It called him "an extraordinary sportsman" and said the national team "would always be his home."

Hierro, 50, is a former national team player and Real Madrid captain. He served as sporting director when Spain won the 2008 European Championship and the 2010 World Cup, what the federation called "the national team's greatest period." But he had never held a major coaching job.

"I couldn't have said 'no,' I wouldn't forgive myself," Hierro said at the news conference introducing him as coach, two days before the match against European champion Portugal. "We still have a great opportunity in front of us. We have to remain positive and move forward."

Later in the tournament, Hierro suggested he had stayed in contact with Lopetegui but said they didn't discuss strategy.

"Julen has his job now, and I've got mine," Hierro said after Spain won the group by a narrow margin. "I've got my hands full. We're not sending texts to each other. We each have our own identities and our own ideas.

"We are friends and we might communicate as friends but we do not talk about football and tactics. Please don't think that every time I have to make a decision I call up Lopetegui and ask his opinion."

Taking over the team with zero notice "wasn't a challenge. That's not the way I see it," Hierro insisted. "It's a source of pride to be the coach of Spain. It's a great honor."

Addressing media in Madrid the day after his firing, Lopetegui said his dismissal from the Spain job was the saddest day of his life since the day his mother had died, and called the day he officially took the helm at Real the happiest.

Rubiales, who took over as president in May, said Lopetegui and Real Madrid had left him no choice by refusing to delay the announcement.

"The federation has its values and it has to maintain them," Rubiales said. "It may look like a weakness now, but with time this will make us stronger."

___

More AP World Cup coverage: www.apnews.com/tag/WorldCup .

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • NationalMore>>

  • 'Suffering' ends with Honduran baby back in parents' arms

    'Suffering' ends with Honduran baby back in parents' arms

    Friday, July 20 2018 2:50 PM EDT2018-07-20 18:50:19 GMT
    Saturday, July 21 2018 11:07 AM EDT2018-07-21 15:07:54 GMT
    (AP Photo/Esteban Felix). In this July 18, 2018 photo, Rolando Bueso Castillo and his wife Adalicia Montecinos, stand in their home in La Libertad, Honduras. It's been five months since they have seen their infant son Johan Bueso Castillo who was separ...(AP Photo/Esteban Felix). In this July 18, 2018 photo, Rolando Bueso Castillo and his wife Adalicia Montecinos, stand in their home in La Libertad, Honduras. It's been five months since they have seen their infant son Johan Bueso Castillo who was separ...
    A Honduran man who was separated from his baby son at the Texas border and then deported without him soon will hold the boy again.More >>
    A Honduran man who was separated from his baby son at the Texas border and then deported without him soon will hold the boy again.More >>
  • Officials release names of those killed in boat accident

    Officials release names of those killed in boat accident

    Saturday, July 21 2018 12:18 AM EDT2018-07-21 04:18:54 GMT
    Saturday, July 21 2018 11:07 AM EDT2018-07-21 15:07:37 GMT
    (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel). People pray outside Ride the Ducks, an amphibious tour operator involved in a boating accident on Table Rock Lake, Friday, July 20, 2018 in Branson, Mo.(AP Photo/Charlie Riedel). People pray outside Ride the Ducks, an amphibious tour operator involved in a boating accident on Table Rock Lake, Friday, July 20, 2018 in Branson, Mo.

    More than half of the 17 people killed when a tourist boat sank on a Branson lake were members of the same Indiana family, and they likely wouldn't have been on the ill-fated trip but for a ticket mix-up.

    More >>

    More than half of the 17 people killed when a tourist boat sank on a Branson lake were members of the same Indiana family, and they likely wouldn't have been on the ill-fated trip but for a ticket mix-up.

    More >>
  • Colorado VA hospital plagued by delays, high costs to open

    Colorado VA hospital plagued by delays, high costs to open

    Friday, July 20 2018 3:05 PM EDT2018-07-20 19:05:09 GMT
    Saturday, July 21 2018 11:01 AM EDT2018-07-21 15:01:25 GMT
    (AP Photo/David Zalubowski, File). FILE - In this June 8, 2017, file photo, the campus of the Veterans Administration hospital is under construction in Aurora, Colo. The center is set to open Saturday, July 21, 2018, years behind schedule and more than...(AP Photo/David Zalubowski, File). FILE - In this June 8, 2017, file photo, the campus of the Veterans Administration hospital is under construction in Aurora, Colo. The center is set to open Saturday, July 21, 2018, years behind schedule and more than...
    It's more than $1 billion over budget and five years behind schedule, but an elaborate new veterans hospital is finally opening in suburban Denver with the promise of state-of-the-art medical care.More >>
    It's more than $1 billion over budget and five years behind schedule, but an elaborate new veterans hospital is finally opening in suburban Denver with the promise of state-of-the-art medical care.More >>
Powered by Frankly