sport

Sanchez-Vicario quits captaincy

Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario has quit as Spain's Fed Cup captain as the rift between the country's federation and its female players deepens.

A group of players recently came together and ended their relationship with the president of the Spanish Tennis Federation, Jos?uis Esca?a, claiming he had had gone back on promises regarding the future of the women's game in the country.

Now Sanchez-Vicario, who has been in the job less than a year, appears to have sided with the players rather than her employer.

The former world number one told the Spanish media on Tuesday: "Although I have not been part of any meeting between players or contract talks, I cannot ignore most of the players and stay on the sidelines."

Sanchez-Vicario still had a year left on the contract she signed 12 months ago.

Under her leadership, Spain lost both matches they played.

A defeat to Russia followed by a loss to Slovakia meant Spain were relegated to the second division of the competition, World Group II.

Now a new Fed Cup captain must be found ahead of February's home tie with Ukraine, something that may not prove easy with the nation's leading players set to be unavailable for selection.