Luis Enrique backed by Spain despite continued absence for family reasons

Luis Enrique will not be replaced as Spain coach amid his continued absence for family reasons, according to the Royal Spanish Football Federation's (RFEF) sporting director Jose Molina.

The former Barca coach had to return home to attend a family emergency instead of presiding over March's 2-0 win over Malta and he is reported to have only had one meeting with the RFEF hierarchy since.

Assistant coach Robert Moreno took charge on that occasion and is expected to do so again in June when Spain face the Faroe Islands and Sweden in Euro 2020 qualifiers, with Luis Enrique set to be absent for the same reason as before.

Suggestions in the Spanish media had suggested the national team were contemplating at least hiring a temporary replacement for Luis Enrique, with Deportivo Alaves coach Abelardo – a long-time friend of the 49-year-old – said to have been considered.

But Molina, also a former Spain international, insists Luis Enrique has the RFEF's full support.

"The coach could not be here for the same reasons he left the camp in Malta, nor will he be in the camp for the two matches against the Faroe Islands and Sweden," Molina told a news conference on Friday following Spain's squad announcement.

"Thank you for the respect you have maintained for the situation that the coach is going through.

"The commitment of the RFEF with Luis Enrique is total. That commitment is mutual and will continue in force. On our part there is no doubt about that.

"We hope to see him for a long time. It's a difficult time and he has our help and confidence.

"It will be his staff who will take the day-to-day of the national team. They are in permanent contact with him.

"This situation does not have a deadline, we do not set any deadlines. We won't have any change of coach."

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