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Hernandez, who led Spain to world title, fired

6/3/2008

MADRID, Spain -- The Spanish basketball federation fired national team coach Jose Vicente "Pepu" Hernandez, who led the team to its first world championship title in 2006.

The announcement Tuesday came after a brief meeting between Hernandez and federation president Jose Luis Saez, who will reportedly offer the coaching position to former DKV Joventut coach Aito Garcia Reneses.

The federation said in a statement that Hernandez had been fired for failing to comply with contractual obligations and for showing a "lack of respect for the federation and its staff."

Relations between Hernandez and the federation deteriorated after the 50-year-old coach said last month he would quit after the Beijing Olympics in August.

"I have been fired without a motive or reasons," Hernandez was quoted as saying by the El Pais daily. "Now it is necessary to rebuild. I ask for whoever replaces me to be given some peace."

Hernandez, who took charge in early 2006, also guided Spain to the silver medal in last year's European basketball championships.