In recent news, the Spanish soccer world has been shaken by a scandal leading to the firing of the women’s national team coach, Jorge Vilda. The controversy is centered around an incident involving the suspended federation president, Luis Rubiales, and his inappropriate behavior during the Women’s World Cup celebrations.
Luis Rubiales, the then-president of the Spanish soccer federation, kissed player Jenni Hermoso on the lips without her consent during the title celebrations in Sydney. This act, coupled with Rubiales’ lewd victory gesture after the final, sparked widespread criticism. Rubiales has since been provisionally suspended by FIFA and is facing a case by the Spanish government for his actions.
Jorge Vilda, the coach of the women’s national team, was among those who supported Rubiales when he refused to resign despite the backlash. Vilda even applauded Rubiales’ remarks against what he termed “false feminists.” However, he later acknowledged that Rubiales’ behavior was improper. This stance, along with other internal issues, led to Vilda’s dismissal from his position.
The Players’ Perspective
Interestingly, Vilda’s tenure as the coach was not without its challenges. Prior to the World Cup, some players had rebelled against him, demanding a more professional environment. Fifteen players took a break from the national team for their mental well-being, with only three returning to the squad that eventually won the World Cup.
The Federation’s Response
The Royal Spanish Football Federation expressed gratitude to Jorge Vilda for his contributions, acknowledging his role in the significant growth of women’s soccer in Spain. They praised his dedication and professionalism during his tenure. Pedro Rocha, the current president of the Spanish soccer federation, released a letter apologizing for Rubiales’ behavior, stating that it in no way represents the values of Spanish society.
The incident serves as a reminder of the challenges women athletes face and the importance of maintaining a respectful and professional environment in sports. The Spanish soccer world will undoubtedly learn and grow from this experience, ensuring that such incidents do not repeat in the future.