Spain football coach faces sack

9th February 2005, Comments 0 comments

9 February 2005, MADRID - Spain's World Cup match at home to tiny San Marino could be the last for embattled coach Luis Aragones.

9 February 2005

MADRID - Spain's World Cup match at home to tiny San Marino could be the last for embattled coach Luis Aragones.

With Spain's football federation continuing disciplinary proceedings against him for alleged racism, Aragones knows he could be sacked if he is found guilty, the British Daily Telegraph newspaper reported.

The veteran coach's plight stems from his comments about France striker Thierry Henry during a training session in October, and his outburst against Britain's colonial past a month later.

Both remarks were linked to racist chanting during Spain's most recent game, a 1-0 win over England in Madrid almost three months ago.

The president of Spain's anti-violence commission, Rafael Blanco, said on Tuesday that the federation must resolve the case soon. A failure to do so wouldn't help "either the national coach or the problem of racism," he said.

"He made comments which are inappropriate with the position he holds. This has caused widespread repercussions and, as the law states, must be dealt with by the federation's disciplinary bodies," Blanco said.

On the field Aragones is also in bad shape, as Spain prepare to face San Marino in Almeria in World Cup qualifying. His side are in third place in Group Seven with five points. Serbia-Montenegro lead with 10 and Lithuania have eight. Spain have played one game fewer.

Serbia scored five goals in beating San Marino, and Spain will look for a similar number.

San Marino, ranked 165 in the world, have lost all four group matches conceding 13 goals and scoring none. They have just one professional player - striker Andy Selva, who plays in Italy's minor leagues.

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Subject: Spanish news

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