Jorge Vilda, Coach of Spain’s Women’s Soccer Team, Is Fired

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The coach of the Spanish nationwide soccer workforce that received the Ladies’s World Cup trophy final month was ousted on Tuesday by the nation’s soccer federation, after months of complaints from gamers who accused him of outdated strategies and controlling conduct.

The firing of the coach, Jorge Vilda, comes because the destiny of certainly one of his most ardent supporters, Spain’s soccer federation chief, Luis Rubiales, hangs within the steadiness. Mr. Rubiales forcibly kissed a member of the nationwide workforce at a medals ceremony in Australia, setting off a nationwide controversy in Spain and highlighting sexism within the sport.

The federation stated in a press release that as one of many “first measures of renewal” introduced by the interim president, Pedro Rocha, it had determined “to do without the services” of Mr. Vilda as sporting director and nationwide girls’s coach, a job which he accepted in 2015.

The federation additionally thanked Mr. Vilda for his work with the nationwide workforce and the success throughout his tenure, topped by the World Cup victory. It stated it was highlighting “his impeccable personal and sporting behavior,” which “was a key piece in the notable growth of Spanish women’s football.”

The federation has referred to as on Mr. Rubiales to resign, and Spanish prosecutors have opened an investigation into whether or not he may very well be charged with committing an act of sexual aggression. Gamers have stated they might not take the sector for the nationwide workforce except adjustments had been made on a managerial stage. And FIFA, soccer’s governing physique, has suspended him for 90 days.

Mr. Vilda, who was employed in 2015 after certainly one of his predecessors was ousted amid accusations of sexism, had lengthy been the topic of complaints from gamers relating to unequal pay and what they referred to as his controlling conduct, in addition to a common tradition of sexism. Final yr, 15 star Spanish gamers staged a protest, refusing to play on the nationwide workforce except Mr. Vilda was fired.

That rebel drew a stern rebuke from the Spanish soccer federation, which backed Mr. Vilda. Not solely would it not not hearth him, the federation stated, however the gamers should apologize for his or her actions earlier than they might be allowed again on the workforce. The standoff ended with many of the mutinous gamers returning to the sector.

Mr. Rubiales backed Mr. Vilda on the time. In an interview with the Spanish newspaper El País in October 2022, Mr. Rubiales related the success of the ladies’s workforce to Mr. Vilda’s teaching abilities and dismissed the accusations of sick therapy. In a speech final month, he doubled down in his help for the coach, vowing to extend his wage to 500,000 euros ($543,000) after the World Cup win, Spain’s first within the girls’s match.

Mr. Rubiales has been on the heart of a maelstrom over sexism in Spanish girls’s soccer since he grabbed and kissed Jennifer Hermoso, a member of the nationwide workforce, in the course of the medals ceremony after Spain beat England, 1-0, within the ultimate in Sydney, Australia.

After the pressured kiss, gamers once more issued an ultimatum. All the girls’s workforce and dozens of different gamers signed a press release saying they might not play for Spain “if the current managers continue.” Alexia Putellas, who’s widely known as probably the greatest gamers on the planet, coined the hashtag #seacabo, or “it’s over.” Some individuals protested within the streets of Spain. On Monday night, the Spanish males’s workforce captain, Álvaro Morata, flanked by his teammates issued a joint assertion rejecting “the unacceptable behavior of Mr. Rubiales.”

Some commentators have described the episode as a watershed second in Spain’s #MeToo motion, highlighting a divide between the nation’s traditions of machismo and newer progressivism that has put Spain within the European vanguard on problems with feminism and equality.

Mr. Rubiales has denied doing something flawed, arguing that he has been a sufferer of “social assassination” and even suggesting that Ms. Hermoso had initiated the encounter, which she has strenuously denied. His mom went on a three-day starvation strike in a church in his hometown, Motril, in southern Spain, demanding that Ms. Hermoso “tell the truth.”

Ms. Hermoso, for her half, has stated that “at no time did I consent to the kiss that he gave me.”

Because the scandal mushroomed, the federation, often known as the Royal Spanish Soccer Federation, referred to as an emergency assembly. Mr. Vilda was one of many many males within the room who gave Mr. Rubiales a standing ovation.

Later, nevertheless, Mr. Vilda tried to distance himself from Mr. Rubiales, saying that he regretted his boss’s “inappropriate conduct.” The Spanish males’s coach, Luis de la Fuente, additionally apologized for applauding. However the harm was executed.

The firing of Mr. Vilda comes on the identical day because the Spanish authorities printed the awarding of a Gold Medal for Sporting Advantage of the Royal Order to your complete girls’s workforce, together with Mr. Vilda.

However with a match towards Sweden set for Sept. 22, and with none of Spain’s star gamers apparently keen to compete, the soccer federation minimize Mr. Vilda free.

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