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World Cup flop Spain parts ways with emergency coach Fernando Hierro

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. (Victor R. Caivano / Associated Press)
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. (Victor R. Caivano / Associated Press)

MADRID – 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 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 to get out of their group, then lost to Russia on penalties in the round of 16.

The federation said Hierro had declined to return to his previous role as sporting director.


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