The Mexican Soccer Federation has sacked national team coach Miguel Herrera after allegations he assaulted a journalist. Herrera, nicknamed "El Piojo" was famous for his energetic sideline persona.
Mexican national team soccer coach Miguel Herrera was fired Tuesday amid allegations he punched a TV journalist who had been critical of his performance.
The 47-year-old Herrera, nicknamed "El Piojo" (the louse), was ousted only two days after leading Mexico to victory in the CONCACAF Gold Cup. Incoming Mexican Soccer Federation president Decio de Maria said the incident with the journalist was not in keeping with "the spirit of fair and respectful competition."
"Our values, our principles, are above any result," de Maria said at a press conference Monday. "In our profession, our industry, the matches are never over, and as public figures who represent an institution we must be absolutely clear on that."
A successor to lead the Mexican national team has not yet been named.
"Of what Miguel and I discussed, the only thing I can say is that it was very tough for Miguel," de Maria said.
The alleged assault on TV Azteca's Christian Martinoli took place Monday at the Philadelphia airport in the US State of Pennsylvania after the national team was preparing to return to Mexico following its 3-1 victory over Jamaica in the Gold Cup championship match.
Martinoli had been a tough critic of Herrera, with many fans disappointed with the national team's recent performance. Herrera allegedly hit Martinoli in the neck and then threatened him.
Herrera took over a struggling Mexican side in 2013 and became known for his energetic sideline demeanor. His team lost in injury time to the Netherlands at the 2014 World Cup and performed poorly at this year's Copa America, drawing strong criticism from Martinoli.
Herrera has yet to comment on the decision and claims he simply shoved Martinoli.
bw/lw (AP, Reuters, AFP)