Jorge Vilda, the head coach of Spain Women’s national football team, has been sacked 16 days after leading his team to victory in the Women’s World Cup.
Vilda’s departure comes amid controversy surrounding the president of the Spanish Football Association (RFEF), Luis Rubiales, who kissed Spain forward Jenni Hermoso on the lips during the medal ceremony after Spain’s World Cup win. Hermoso has alleged that the kiss was not consensual, a claim that Rubiales denies.
Vilda has also been removed from his position as sports director of the Spain Women’s team. Montse Tome, former assistant manager, has been named as his permanent successor, becoming the first woman to hold the head coach role for the Spain Women’s team.
Vilda had been in charge of Spain since 2015 and was known as a close ally of Rubiales. His departure follows the resignation of 11 members of Spain’s coaching staff and a revolt by 81 players who refused to play until changes were made to the national set-up.
The decision to remove Vilda was taken by acting RFEF president Pedro Rocha. The RFEF stated that the move is one of the first renewal measures announced by Rocha.
Spain won the Women’s World Cup for the first time in their history on August 20 after defeating England 1-0 in the final.
The controversy surrounding Rubiales and the allegations of non-consensual kissing have overshadowed Spain’s World Cup victory. Rubiales has been provisionally suspended by FIFA, and investigations into the allegations continue.
Montse Tome’s first matches in charge will be in September’s Nations League fixtures against Sweden and Switzerland.
The RFEF’s statement regarding Vilda’s dismissal did not provide a specific reason for his departure but praised his work and contributions to women’s football in Spain.