Spain sacks manager Lopetegui on eve of World Cup
| Updated Jun 13, 2018 at 2:34pm
The Spanish football federation has sacked manager Julen Lopetegui on the eve of the opening of the World Cup in Russia.
The move comes one day after Real Madrid made the surprise announcement that Lopetegui would become the club's new head coach following the World Cup.
Lopetegui's contract with the Spanish federation, known as RFEF, was extended just weeks ago.
The head of the Spanish football federation, Luis Rubiales, said in a press conference on Wednesday: "We want to thank Julen for all he's done and he's a big reason behind us being in Russia, but we feel obliged to dispense with his services."
"There has to be a message to all RFEF employees and there are ways of behaving that you need to abide by."
Rubiales added that Spain's new manager would be announced "soon".
Spanish media had speculated about Lopeteguis fate after the Real announcement, with reports surfacing that Rubiales was ready to fire Lopetegui over how the news went public — and under such short notice to RFEF.
Spain, which was one of the World Cup 2018 favourites, faces off against rivals Portugal on Friday. They also play Morocco and Iran in the group stages of the World Cup.