Expatica news

Football row takes another twist

24 June 2004

MADRID – The row over the Spanish football team’s early exit from the Euro 2004 tournament took another unlikely twist when the coach decided to resign – a day after announcing he would carry on, it was reported Thursday.

The Spanish Royal Soccer Federation, or RFEF, has scheduled a board meeting Friday to decide the future of  coach Iñaki Saez.

The meeting was called after Saez met with RFEF president Angel Maria Villar at the coach’s request.

Saez, 61, announced Tuesday that he would stay on as coach despite Spain’s elimination in the first round of the tournament after losing 0-1 to host team Portugal.

But on Wednesday, Saez told Villar that he was upset over the latest repercussions stemming from Spain’s failure to advance in the European tournament, RFEF sources told EFE news agency.

After reading the sports press – much of which was against him – Saez, now feels he is in a weakened position, the sources said.

Saez told a press conference that he would continue to lead the team, with the challenge of “overcoming the disappointment” of seeing it eliminated from Euro 2004 and begin to “prepare for the 2006 World Cup in Germany.”

But Saez said his management would depend on the support of his players, his assistant coaches and the local soccer federation.

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news