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Spain’s Hierro leaves federation after World Cup exit

Russia Soccer WCup Match Moments Day 17 Photo Gallery

Spain head coach Fernando Hierro reacts during the round of 16 match between Spain and Russia at the 2018 soccer World Cup at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, Russia, Sunday, July 1, 2018. (AP Photo/Victor R. Caivano)

AP

Fernando Hierro’s time running the Spanish national team is limited to the World Cup, and he will not be returning to his former position as sporting director.

Hierro stepped into the role on the eve of the tournament, when Spain fired Julen Lopetegui for his decision to accept the Real Madrid position without informing the federation.

[ MORE: Qataris considering 48-team option for 2022 World Cup ]

Spain beat Iran but drew Morocco and Portugal in group play, finishing first in Group B before losing to hosts Russia in penalty kicks at the Round of 16.

From the BBC:

A statement said the former Real Madrid player had “declined” to return to his previous role and has opted to “undertake new professional challenges.”

The storyline to follow will be whether the problems and vibes at the federation extend beyond its head-scratching decision to react viciously to Lopetegui’s move to Real.

Follow @NicholasMendola