21 June 2004
MADRID – Spain was Monday mourning its exit from the Euro 2004 football championships at the hands of Portugal after a 1-0 defeat.
The Spanish press were calling for the resignation of team coach Inaki Saez after Spain went out of the competition in the first round.
‘Infierno de cobardes’ – ‘Cowards’ hell’ – was how the Spanish daily El Mundo described the team’s performance Monday in a front-page headline.
Many other papers were critical of the tactics used by the coach, who was attacked for being too defensive.
Saez was said to have played for a draw with Portugal, which could have taken Spain to the next round of the competition.
Commentators lamented what they called Spain’s ‘humiliation’.
Spanish television reported Sunday night how the country came to a standstill to watch the game, with empty streets across the nation.
But after the match, the streets were similarly quiet as Spaniards tried to come to terms with the result.
Portgual and Greece, which were in the same group as Spain, go on to the next round.
Subject: Spanish news