Miguel Herrera did the job on the field, but his off-field behavior has cost him dearly.
Mexico’s soccer federation announced Tuesday it has fired Herrera as head coach of “El Tri,” the men’s national soccer team, according to ESPN. The decision comes after Herrera led Mexico to victory Sunday in the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup final but sullied the triumph by allegedly attacking a journalist at Philadelphia International Airport a day later.
“After listening to all my colleagues who are part of this federation, and reasoning I have made the decision to take Miguel Herrera out of the national team,” incoming FMF president Decio de Maria said in a statement, according to ESPN. “It is not a simple decision, but it is the correct one.
“Matches never finish, and as public figures we have to keep that in mind. Everyone has had an opinion but as I said, our values have to be kept and no one can be above the type of situation we saw on Monday at the Philadelphia airport.”
TV Azteca journalist Christian Martinoli accuses Herrera of punching him and challenging him to a fight at the airport. Martinoli had been critical of Herrera’s leadership of “El Tri” in recent weeks.
The FMF now must replace Herrera, who also had salvaged Mexico’s 2014 FIFA World Cup qualification campaign and led “El Tri” to the Round of 16 at last summer’s tournament. De Maria said the FMF will seek a candidate, who can guide Mexico to and through the next World Cup. Mexico plays its next game in early September against Trinidad and Tobago.
“Regarding a coaching replacement, we have to go out and look for coaches,” he said. “Whatever decision we take will be criticized and analyzed but we will make a decision that allows all of us to go to Russia in 2018.”
As for Herrera’s Mexico tenure, winning isn’t everything, nor is it the only thing.
Thumbnail photo via Twitter/@guardian_sport