Health Management

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


The coach of the Spanish nationwide soccer crew that gained 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was ousted on Tuesday by the nation’s soccer federation, after months of complaints from gamers who accused him of outdated strategies and controlling conduct.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 considered one of his most ardent supporters, Spain’s soccer federation chief, Luis Rubiales, hangs in the balance. Mr. Rubiales forcibly kissed a member of the nationwide crew at a medals ceremony in Australia, setting off a nationwide controversy in Spain and highlighting sexism within the sport.

The federation said in a statement that as one of many “first measures of renewal” introduced by the interim president, Pedro Rocha, it had determined “to do with out the companies” of Mr. Vilda as sporting director and nationwide ladies’s coach, a job which he accepted in 2015.

The federation additionally thanked Mr. Vilda for his work with the nationwide crew and the success throughout his tenure, topped by the World Cup victory. It stated it was highlighting “his impeccable private and sporting conduct,” which “was a key piece within the notable progress of Spanish ladies’s soccer.”

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

Mr. Vilda, who was employed in 2015 after considered one of his predecessors was ousted amid accusations of sexism, had lengthy been the topic of complaints from gamers concerning 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 crew unless Mr. Vilda was fired.

That insurrection drew a stern rebuke from the Spanish soccer federation, which backed Mr. Vilda. Not solely wouldn’t it not fireplace him, the federation stated, however the gamers should apologize for his or her actions earlier than they’d be allowed again on the crew. 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 linked the success of the ladies’s crew to Mr. Vilda’s teaching abilities and dismissed the accusations of unwell 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 ladies’s event.

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

After the pressured kiss, gamers once more issued an ultimatum. Your entire ladies’s crew and dozens of different gamers signed a press release saying they’d not play for Spain “if the present managers proceed.” Alexia Putellas, who’s well known as among the best gamers on the earth, coined the hashtag #seacabo, or “it’s over.” Some individuals protested within the streets of Spain. On Monday night, the Spanish males’s crew captain, Álvaro Morata, flanked by his teammates issued a joint assertion rejecting “the unacceptable conduct of Mr. Rubiales.”

Some commentators have described the episode as a watershed moment in Spain’s #MeToo movement, highlighting a divide between the nation’s traditions of machismo and more recent 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 “inform the reality.”

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, generally 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, nonetheless, 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 finished.

The firing of Mr. Vilda comes on the identical day because the Spanish authorities printed the awarding of a Gold Medal for Sporting Benefit of the Royal Order to the whole ladies’s crew, together with Mr. Vilda.

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

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