Jorge Vilda sacked as Spain coach amid continuing fallout over Rubiales kiss | Spain women’s football team

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Jorge Vilda has been sacked as the Spain coach after eight years in charge of the women’s team, despite winning the World Cup last month.

The 42-year-old had come under increasing pressure after initially supporting Luis Rubiales, the federation president who was suspended by Fifa from all football-related activity after kissing the player Jennifer Hermoso on the lips during the awards ceremony. Rubiales claims the kiss was consensual, Hermoso has said it was not.

The RFEF described the move as one of the first “renewal measures” of interim president Pedro Rocha but did not give a reason for dismissing Vilda. “We value [Vilda’s] impeccable personal and sporting conduct, being a key piece in the notable growth of women’s football in Spain,” it said in a statement. “The RFEF would like to express its gratitude for the services provided.”

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Having returned to Spain after the World Cup triumph Vilda applauded a speech by Rubiales in which the RFEF president said he would not resign and also promised the coach a new four-year deal worth €500,000 a year. The following day Vilda released a statement saying that Rubiales’ actions had been “inappropriate and unacceptable.”

The same day as that statement, nearly all of his coaching staff resigned. Eleven coaches and technical staff released a joint statement in which they condemned Rubiales’ conduct. “The undersigned, in light of the unacceptable attitude and statements made by the head of the federation, have taken the decision to resign from their positions,” the statement said.

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Spain men’s football team condemn Rubiales for ‘unacceptable behaviour’ – video

The staff – who include assistant managers Montse Tomé, Javier Lerga and Eugenio Gonzalo Martín, along with physio Blanca Romero Moraleda and goalkeeper coach Carlos Sánchez – also claimed that they had been ordered to attend Rubiales’ speech on Friday. “This was particularly hurtful,” it added, “as many of the female members of the coaching staff were obliged to sit in the front row,” so as to suggest that they agreed with the remarks made by Rubiales, the statement claimed.

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Vilda had already been in the spotlight in 2022 after 15 players said they would not play for the national team again unless changes were made. Vilda is both the women’s national team coach and its sporting director. Only three of the 15 players were selected for the World Cup.

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