Spain SACK their World Cup-winning manager Jorge Vilda, just 11 days after disgraced Luis Rubiales offered him a new contract on stage, as FA apologise to the ‘world of football’ for president’s kiss-gate antics
Spain women’s boss Jorge Vilda has been sacked as manager as part of changes to the country’s set up in the wake of Luis Rubiales’ ‘kiss-gate’ scandal.
Vilda’s position has been controversial despite the coach leading Spain to a 1-0 win over England in the Women’s World Cup final last month.
The Spanish FA were urged to dismiss Vilda by their regional presidents’ committee last week, with the organisation facing mounting pressure over the controversy surrounding Rubiales, who is a close ally of the coach.
And Vilda has now been dismissed by Spain after a meeting with acting Spain FA president Pedro Rocha. Mail Sport understands Levante manager Sanchez Vera is one of the leading candidates to take over.
Rubiales has been provisionally suspended by FIFA and facing increasing pressure to resign after he kissed Jennifer Hermoso following the Women’s World Cup final.
Spain’s women’s national team head coach Jorge Vilda (L) has been sacked after a meeting with acting Spanish FA president Pedro Rocha
Vilda’s departure comes two weeks after Spain’s triumph at the Women’s World Cup
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Vilda also faced criticism for applauding Rubiales when the embattled Spanish FA chief had made a defiant speech insisting he would not resign, although the coach has since hit out at his conduct.
During the same speech at the end of last month, Rubiales hailed Vilda and offered to secure him a new four-year contract for his efforts with the team.
‘I have directed Andreu to start negotiations with you (Vilda) so that you can continue for the next four years earning half a million euros,’ Rubiales said.
‘I’m going to say it, now you were earning 170,000 euros, not half a million as they said. In women’s football, you are the best coach in the world,’
Marca reported earlier on Tuesday that Rocha would swing the axe on Vilda, who had been in the role since 2015 but divided the squad over his behaviour and coaching methods.
In September 2022, 15 Spain players wrote a letter to the Spanish FA refusing to play unless Vilda resigned, arguing that his reign was affecting their ’emotional state’ and amid talk of unprofessionalism.
Rubiales chose to back Vilda, who opted to select just three of the 15 players in his squad for the World Cup.
The protest against Vilda came amid reported he had banned players from locking their hotel rooms, carried out room checks, and went through their bags like ‘children’.
It has been claimed the decision to sack Vilda is be a ‘symbol’ of the changes promised by the Spanish FA in response to the Rubiales scandal.
Vilda’s sacking is expected to be viewed as a ‘symbol’ of changes planned at the Spanish FA amid the ongoing controversy surrounding their president Luis Rubiales, pictured
Rubiales (right), a key ally of Vilda, has faced calls to resign as Spanish FA chief after he kissed Jennifer Hermoso (left) on the lips during the Women’s World Cup final ceremony
This follows a call from the regional presidents’ committee for the organisation to implement ‘deep and imminent organic restructuring in strategic positions of the federation’.
Spanish football was rocked after Rubiales sparked outrage when he kissed Hermoso on the mouth as she stepped up to receive her medal following Spain’s 1-0 win in the Women’s World Cup final.
Footage also emerged that showed Rubiales grabbing his crotch while standing near Queen Letizia of Spain and her 16-year-old daughter Princess Infanta Sofia – which he has since apologised for.
Hermoso has since insisted the kiss was not consensual, and dozens of Spanish players have gone on strike, with almost all of the coaching staff resigning in protest.
Vilda, second right, hit out at Rubiales conduct after the World Cup final but was criticised for applauding the embattled Spanish FA chief during a speech where he vowed not to resign
Rubiales, however, has refused to resign, with an investigation into sexual abuse underway.
He has claimed he is the ‘victim of a political and media lynching’ who is actually ‘advancing feminism’ as he continues to fight attempts to suspend him.
FIFA has already handed Rubiales a 90-day ban and Mail Sport revealed the governing body is pushing for a 15-year ban from all football.
In Spain, the Sports Administrative Tribunal (TAD) has opened a case against the 46-year-old, but it is for ‘serious’, rather than ‘very serious’ misconduct.
The Spanish FA has since issued an apology for Rubiales’ actions, saying they were ‘totally unacceptable’, caused ‘enormous damage’ and that they are ’embarrassed’.
The Royal Spanish Football Federation, through its President, Mr. Pedro Rocha, considers it is essential to present the most sincere apologies for the totally unacceptable behavior of its highest institutional representative during the final of the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 and in the moments that followed,’ it said.
The country’s governing body said Rubiales’ behaviour disrupted what should have been a celebratory moment for Spanish football
‘Spanish society is an example of tolerance and civility, in all social and political spheres and has been an example of behavior and sporting decorum, as it has demonstrated for decades in all sporting events in which it has participated.
‘That nobility and international prestige of our society and our sport have been tarnished in recent days by the actions of Mr. Luis Rubiales. The damage caused to Spanish football, to Spanish sport, to Spanish society and to the values of football and sport as a whole has been enormous.
‘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 [incidents] like these can never happen again.’