Bolivia’s football club removes popular Spanish coach

La Paz, Jan 3 (IANS) Spanish coach Miguel Angel Portugal was removed from club Bolivar, the most popular one in Bolivia, the team’s owner Marcelo Claure announced Thursday.

In Twitter, Claure announced Portugal’s removal and said he will be temporarily replaced by Vladimir Soria.
“Miguel Angel Portugal is no longer Bolivar’s coach. Vladimir Soria will temporarily lead the team. A committee will elect the new coach,” reported Xinhua citing Claure.
Portugal’s contract ended in June 2014 but his removal was prompted after the team was defeated by its traditional rival team in the last matches of the local tournament.
Soria, who led Bolivar in 2004 when it was runner-up in Copa Sudamericana, will train the club’s preseason games before the beginning of the regional tournament Copa Libertadores at the end of January.
The three Bolivian clubs to take part in Copa Libertadores are Oriente Petrolero, Bolivar and The Strongest.
Meanwhile, Bolivar and The Strongest will debut Feb 13 as visitors in the regional tournament’s second round.
Bolivar will face Ecuador’s Emelec in Guayaquil and The Strongest will face the winner between Peru’s Sporting Cristal or Brazil’s Atletico Paranaense.
Bolivar qualified to Copa Libertadores’ second round because it is the champion of the local Clausura tournament 2012-2013 and The Strongest qualified for winning the local tournament in December.