Miguel Herrera is out as manager of the Mexican national team a day after a reported confrontation in which he allegedly punched a television reporter.
ESPN FC reported the move Tuesday, after the Mexican Football Federation held a meeting regarding the matter. The firing comes just two days after El Tri defeated Jamaica to win the Gold Cup championship.
John Sutcliffe of ESPN initially confirmed the Mexican Football Federation made the decision to let Herrera go as a result of the incident.
A report from ESPN FC stated that Christian Martinoli of TV Azteca accused Herrera, 47, of an assault while at the airport following Mexico’s triumph in Philadelphia over Jamaica. Airport officials said security cameras didn’t capture the alleged incident.
“The behavior of the manager of the national team is strange to us and worries us enormously,” TV Azteca said in a statement. “The federation shouldn’t allow attacks like that suffered by our partner Christian Martinoli at the hands of Mr. Herrera.
“Our country needs brave journalists, who are able to share their opinions and who enjoy the freedom of doing so without being attacked,” the statement said. “Mexico needs more liberty, more public debate and less violence.”
The highly energetic Herrera already found himself on the hot seat heading into the CONCACAF tournament after a string of poor results. The side had bowed out of Copa America without a victory, which raised the pressure level despite them not fielding their “A” squad.
El Tri responded by winning the Gold Cup, but not without controversy. All three of their goals in the quarterfinal and semifinal rounds came via penalty kicks. The officials’ questionable decisions played a vital role in helping a Mexican side that wasn’t playing its best to win the title anyway.
We can just imagine he was being grilled about the fact that had it not been for a couple of mistakes by the inexperience center back for Jamaica, the Mexican side was not looking like the normal fluent and skillful team that it once was.