Spain’s women’s soccer coach was fired on Tuesday just two weeks after leading his team to the World Cup title, the latest fallout from an unwanted celebratory kiss moments after the match.
The Royal Spanish Football Federation also issued a sweeping apology for federation president Luis Rubiales’ kiss on the mouth of player Jenni Hermoso during the post-match medal ceremony.
Coach Jorge Vilda has initially supported Rubiales and had opposed efforts to have the federation head replaced.
“Those actions do not reflect at all the values of the whole Spanish society, its institutions, its representatives, its athletes and the leaders of Spanish sport,” according to a statement by the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF).
“Spanish society is an example of tolerance and civility, in all social and political spheres and has been an example of behavior and sporting decorum, as it has demonstrated for decades in all sporting events in which it has participated.”
The federation continued: “That nobility and international prestige of our society and our sport have been tarnished in recent days by the actions of Mr. Luis Rubiales. The damage caused to Spanish football, to Spanish sport, to Spanish society and to the values of football and sport as a whole has been enormous.”
Even though the coach is now critical of Rubiales, the federation, under the guidance of acting president Pedro Rocha, has decided to part ways with the World Cup-winning field boss.
“The federation wants to express its gratitude to Jorge Vilda for the services provided, for his professionalism and his dedication during all these years, wishing him success for the future,” according to a federation statement.
“He leaves the federation with an extraordinary sporting legacy thanks to the implementation of a recognized game model and a methodology that has been an engine of growth for all the women’s categories of the national team.”
This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.