Spain sacks coach on eve of World Cup

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Spain's football team has been plunged into chaos just over 24 hours out from the start of the FIFA World Cup, with the Spanish football federation firing manager Julen Lopetegui.

Rubiales also revealed that the Spanish FA will receive the payment of the rescission clause so that the current coach can sign for Real Madrid.

"You can't change two days of work in two days and a large part of the technical team is staying here with us too".

Spain manager Julen Lopetegui has been sacked just two days before their opening World Cup 2018 fixture against Portugal.

His decision to take the job angered senior figures within the Spanish FA, particularly the recently appointed president, Luis Rubiales, who was only made aware a matter of minutes before it was publicly announced by Real. In the RFEF we can not not fulfil our own values.

Spanish FA chief Luis Rubiales was in Moscow at the time for the Federation Internationale de Football Association congress and he tried to stop a hiring that was already too late to prevent. If anybody wants to talk to one of our employees, they have to speak to us, too.

"We have been obliged to fire the national coach".

Comparing the Spanish turbulence with England's camp so far, Butland added: "I don't think we'll ever be in that situation. When we know we will tell you", said Rubiales, who flew from Moscow - where the vote for the 2026 World Cup host was being held - to Spain's training base in Krasnodar, Russia.

"We're all hurt by this situation, I've told the players my reasons for doing it and they understand".

"I couldn't have said 'no, ' I wouldn't forgive myself", Hierro said.

Spain face Portugal on Friday, and will also face Iran and Morocco in Group B.

There was no immediate comment from the 53-year-old Lopetegui, who had been scheduled to appear alongside Rubiales but pulled out. "Winning is important, but above that, we need to know how things have to be handled".

However, former Spain great Xavi Hernandez said the federation did the right thing.

He won European championships with Spain's under-19 and under-21 teams in the early 2010s, but had a lacklustre stint with Portuguese team Porto in his only job with a major club. The 1998 World Cup had seen three managerial casualties in the form of Henryk Kasperczak, Carlos Alberto Parreira and Cha Bum-kun, then coaches of Tunisia, Saudi Arabia and South Korea, respectively.