Mexico coach sacked after he allegedly punches reporter

Showdown at airport results in coach being fired.

Mexico manager Miguel Herrera has been sacked, after he allegedly punched a reporter who had criticised his team’s performance in the recent Copa America and Gold Cup tournaments.

“After evaluating the situation and listening to everyone that makes up this family, I’ve made the decision to remove Miguel Herrera from his post,” Decio de Maria, president of the Mexican Football Federation (FMF), told a news conference.

“As far as what Miguel and I discussed, the only thing I can say is that it was very tough for Miguel,” he said.

Christian Martinoli, a sports reporter for Mexico’s TV Azteca, said on Monday that Herrera threatened him then hit him in the neck at Philadelphia’s airport as the Mexican team returned home after a 3-1 victory against Jamaica to win the CONCACAF Gold Cup tournament.

De Maria said Herrera had apologized about the airport incident, but added: “You can’t respond to aggression with aggression.”

Martinoli had been an outspoken critic of Herrera during the team’s group stage exit from the 2015 Copa America in Chile.

Herrera was appointed at the end of 2013 after Mexico had sacked three previous coaches as the team nearly failed to qualify for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

Mexico will now be looking for a new coach ahead of an October playoff against the United States for CONCACAF’s place at the Confederations Cup in 2017 followed by the qualifying campaign for the 2018 World Cup.