Flamengo fire Fernández after he punches Pedro for refusing to warm up

August 1 – Brazilian club Flamengo have fired assistant coach Pablo Fernández after he punched striker Pedro (pictured) in the face. Head coach Jorge Sampaoli’s position is said to be secure.

On Saturday, Fernandez hit Pedro in the face following the club’s 2-1 victory against Atlético-MG. Pedro had refused to warm up in the second half, leaving Fernandez irritated. On Twitter, Pedro confirmed that he had filed charges against Fernández and added he has had difficulties with Sampaoli’s assistants.

The club fined Pedro for not warming up on the touchline, but on Monday, the striker failed to show up for training and wrote that he had suffered from “psychological cowardice” in the last few weeks. “May God forgive a person who believes, in 2023, that a physical assault will sort out any problem,” he added. 

Fernández apologized in a statement, and claimed he was “very upset and willing to resolve the situation”. 

“High-stress situations that make us react and think badly,” said Fernández. “I don’t mean to put this context as an excuse but as an explanation.”

It is not the first time that Fernandez has lost his temper. In 2021, he was suspended by France’s Ligue 1 after he punched a fan at a match between Olympique Marseille and Nice.

Pedro will return to training on Tuesday. This week Flamengo play Paraguay’s Olimpia in the first leg of their Copa Libertadores round-of-16 encounter. 

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