Spain women’s boss Jorge Vilda has been sacked as manager as part of changes to the country’s setup in the wake of Luis Rubiales’ ‘kiss-gate’ scandal.
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.
Vilda has now been dismissed by Spain after a meeting with acting Spain FA president Pedro Rocha. They moved quickly to announce the appointment of their first-ever female head coach, naming Montserrat ‘Montse’ Tome as Vilda’s successor.In a statement, the Spanish FA thanked Vilda for his work in the role and noted how he had helped grown the women’s game in the country.
“The Royal Spanish Football Federation, in one of the first renewal measures announced by president Pedro Rocha, has decided to dispense with the services of Jorge Vilda as sports director and women’s national coach, a position, the latter, which he accepted in 2015.
”The RFEF appreciates his work at the head of the National Team and in his functions as the head of sports for the women’s teams, as well as the successes achieved during his time crowned with the recent achievement of the World Cup.
”We value his impeccable personal and sporting conduct, being a key piece in the notable growth of women’s football in Spain. During his extensive period, Vilda has been a promoter of the values of respect and sportsmanship in football.
”The RFEF would like to express its gratitude to Jorge Vilda for the services provided, for his professionalism and dedication during all these years, wishing him the best successes in the future. ‘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.
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.’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’.