Spanish FA: Women's coach Jorge Vilda sacked after kiss row

The current president of the Spanish federation, Pedro Rocha, has written a letter distancing the organisation from Rubiales’ actions.

The Spanish football federation has sacked women’s coach Jorge Vilda after eight years in charge of the side, despite winning the World Cup last month.

His dismissal comes after initially backing president Luis Rubiales, who had come under increasing pressure to resign, after kissing Jenni Hermoso on the lips during the awards ceremony.

Rubiales has claimed the kiss was consensual, while Hermoso says it was not.

Vilda’s dismissal comes after Spain’s football governing body apologised to the footballing world for the “enormous damage” caused by the actions of its suspended president.

The 46-year-old has been provisionally barred from all football activity for an initial 90 days by Fifa while it investigates his conduct at last month’s Women’s World Cup final in Sydney.

Rubiales kissed Spain midfielder Jenni Hermoso on the lips during the trophy presentation, something Hermoso has said she did not consent to.

However, Rubiales has refused to resign over the matter.

Now, the current president of the Spanish federation (Rfef), Pedro Rocha, has written a letter distancing the organisation from Rubiales’ actions, saying he is “ashamed” by them.

Pedro Rocha has written a letter distancing the organisation from Rubiales’ actions. / Credit: AP

“The damage caused to Spanish football, to Spanish sport, to Spanish society and the values ​​of football and sport as a whole have been enormous,” Rocha’s letter said.

“Mr Rubiales’ actions do not represent the values ​​defended by the Spanish federation, nor the values ​​of Spanish society as a whole.”

“His actions must be attributed solely and exclusively to him, since he is the one solely responsible for those actions before society, before the sports governing bodies and, if applicable, before justice.

“To be clear, this position was that of Mr Rubiales, not that of the RFEF.

“We feel especially sorry and ashamed for the pain and additional distress this has caused.”

The Spanish government have said they will not be able to ban Rubiales from working after a tribunal ruled his behaviour as “serious” misconduct – but not “very serious”.

How did we get here?

After beating England 1-0 in the Women’s World Cup Final, Spain’s success has been tainted by the controversy surrounding Rubiales, who refused to quit his role as the country’s FA president after kissing Hermoso after the match.

He also faced heavy criticism after he grabbed his crotch in celebration of the win while being stood metres away from Spain’s Queen Letizia and her teenage daughter Sofia.

Prosecutors are now opening a sex abuse investigation into Rubiales.

Uefa president Aleksander Ceferin described his behaviour as “inappropriate” – but called for Fifa’s investigation to be allowed to run its course.

Rubiales has refused to quit. / Credit: PA

On Friday, the head coach of the Spain men’s national team, Luis de la Fuente, asked for forgiveness after giving Rubiales a standing ovation when he said he would not resign during an emergency general assembly.

The player involved, Hermoso, has denied Rubiales’ claim that she consented to what he called the “mutual” kiss during the August 20 medal ceremony after the Spanish victory.

In a statement last Saturday, Hermoso said she considered herself the victim of abuse of power and accused the federation of trying to pressure her into supporting Rubiales.

The federation initially hit back by saying she was lying and it would take legal action against her. But following the Fifa suspension, the federation on Monday urged Rubiales to step down.

All of Spain’s 23 World Cup winners, plus another 58 players, had said they will not represent their country until Rubiales has left his post.

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