Spanish football coach fired for Rubiales support amid Hermoso kiss scandal

Spain´s coach Jorge Vilda gestures after his team´s victory in the Australia and New Zealand 2023 Women´s World Cup final football match between Spain and England at Stadium Australia in Sydney on August 20, 2023.—AFP

The Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) has sacked their World Cup-winning women’s coach Jorge Vilda for his support of RFEF president Luis Rubiales.

Luis Rubiales has been provisionally suspended by FIFA after kissing Spain player Jennifer Hermoso on the mouth following the Women’s World Cup final.

Vilda had been in charge of the Spain women’s team since 2015 and led them to victory in the World Cup final last month. However, he has been criticised for his behaviour and coaching methods, and for his support of Rubiales. 

Vilda also faced criticism for applauding Rubiales when the embattled Spanish FA chief had made a defiant speech insisting he would not resign.

The RFEF has said that Vilda’s dismissal is a “symbol” of the changes promised by the organisation in response to the Rubiales scandal. The regional presidents’ committee of the RFEF has called for a “deep and imminent organic restructuring in strategic positions of the federation”.

“The RFEF wants to convey to the whole of society and to the whole of world football its deepest regret for what has happened, which has tarnished our national team, our football and our society.

“We feel deeply sorry for the damage caused and therefore, we must ask for the most sincere apologies and acquire a firm and absolute commitment that facts like these can never happen again.”

The sacking of Vilda is a major blow to the Spain women’s team, who are preparing for the upcoming European Championship. The team is already without several key players who have resigned in protest against Rubiales.

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