Miguel Herrera was fired on Tuesday as the Mexican National Team head coach, less than 24 hours after reports that he had punched a journalist in Philadelphia and two days after winning the 2015 Gold Cup.
Mexican FA president Decio De Maria confirmed the news in a press conference this afternoon, telling reporters that Herrera’s violent actions had no place in Mexican society.
“Violence does not fit in society, family and much less in any sport,” De Maria said at the press conference. “Nobody who wants to impose with aggression and not with ideas and concepts on the principle of freedom of expression can be a member of the Mexican Football Federation.
“The Mexican fans deserve respect and people of integrity that represent what we want our national team to be, a great show, family friendly, that unites us in our passion.”
On Sunday, El Tri won their seventh Gold Cup title with a 3-1 victory over Jamaica at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia. On the way home to Mexico, Herrera allegedly physically assaulted journalist and broadcaster Christian Martinoli (best known to American soccer fans for this) at Philadelphia International Airport.
According to a report in AS Mexico, per Martinoli’s version of the events, Martinoli crossed paths with Herrera after the pair had made it through airport security. Herrera then allegedly struck Martinoli in the neck after Martinoli had allegedly tried to avoid confrontation, with Herrera claiming that the pair should exit the terminal and go out on the street to “fix it as it should be.”
On Tuesday, Herrera released a statement of apology, saying that his actions were wrong and not becoming of a manager.
“It makes me very sad to be leaving my position as national team coach due to this regrettable cause, especially because the results in the line of the game have been, for the most part, positive within the goals we set,” he said in the release. “I will be taking advantage of this time to enjoy my family, rest a bit and afterward, I will return as the same person and you will have in me, as always, an open door.”
Herrera was hired by the FMF as an interim manager in October 2013 to help stabilize what was a sinking ship, with Mexico in danger of missing out of the 2014 World Cup.
Herrera, coming off leading Club America to a league championship, used many of those players in his El Tri squad to defeat New Zealand in the World Cup playoff round before leading a team with a mix of domestic and European-based players to Brazil.
He won 18 games out of 36 games in charge of El Tri.
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