The Spanish Football Federation has sacked women’s manager Jorge Vilda only two weeks after winning the World Cup amid the ongoing Luis Rubiales crisis.
Vilda’s entire playing and coaching staff resigned in protest against Rubiales, the Federation (RFEF) president who has refused to step down over his conduct during the final in which he kissed forward Jenni Hermoso on the lips during Spain’s celebrations. Vilda issued a statement condemning Rubiales but did not resign, and he has now been removed from his post, according to multiple reports in Spain.
Rubiales has been provisionally suspended by Fifa from all football-related activity and banned from contacting Hermoso or those close to her while an investigation is carried out.
In a speech made to RFEF officials and the media, Rubiales refused to resign and hit out at a “witch hunt” against him – and Vilda was pictured in the audience applauding the man who appointed him as head coach of the women’s team in 2015.
Vilda has long been a controversial and unpopular figure among the players. His team looked to be on the brink of implosion 12 months ago, when 15 players made themselves unavailable for selection, saying that the environment of the national team was having a negative impact on their mental health and emotional wellbeing.
They complained about the oppressive nature of Vilda’s managerial regime and were unhappy about how outdated the international set-up seemed. Some of the arrangements, like travelling long distances by bus or not having staff in certain key roles, fell well below their standards at club level and they did not feel the Spanish FA was given them the best possible chance of fulfilling a unique generation of talent.
Other player complaints included the coach’s demands that their hotel room doors remain unlocked until midnight, and that their bags were routinely checked.
more to follow…