Spain head coach Jorge Vilda denounces Luis Rubiales’ inappropriate behavior

In a shocking turn of events, Spain’s Women’s World Cup-winning head coach Jorge Vilda has openly condemned the actions of the suspended football federation president Luis Rubiales. Vilda has criticized Rubiales for an alleged inappropriate and non-consensual kiss with squad member Jennifer Hermoso during the team’s trophy lift. This incident has sparked nationwide outrage, leading to protests and resignations within the Spanish football coaching staff.

The controversy began when Rubiales, who had been a staunch ally to Vilda, was suspended by Fifa following Hermoso’s accusations. Rubiales vehemently denied any wrongdoing and claimed to be a victim of “social assassination.” However, Vilda’s criticism of Rubiales speaks volumes about the severity of the situation.

Vilda’s entire coaching staff, including assistant managers Montse Tome, Javier Lerga, and Eugenio Gonzalo Martin, physio Blanca Romero Moraleda, and goalkeeping coach Carlos Sanchez, have resigned in protest against Rubiales. This mass exodus reflects the deep division within the Spanish football community and the collective demand for accountability.

The coach’s statement, released on Saturday night, expressed deep regret that the triumph of Spanish women’s football had been overshadowed by Rubiales’ inappropriate behavior. Vilda emphasized that Rubiales’ actions do not align with the principles and values he promotes in both his personal and professional life. He stated his unwavering commitment to fostering a sporting environment that promotes equality and respect.

Fifa has provisionally suspended Rubiales from all football-related activities for a period of 90 days. The Spanish government has also initiated legal proceedings to further investigate the matter and potentially suspend Rubiales. The severity of these actions demonstrates the degree of concern that Rubiales’ behavior has caused at both national and international levels.

The fallout from this scandal has been substantial, with a significant number of players expressing their refusal to represent the national team as long as Rubiales remains in charge. Eighty-one Spain players, including all 23 World Cup winners, have made this declaration, indicating the strong stance taken against Rubiales.

The controversy surrounding the kiss between Rubiales and Hermoso has shed light on broader issues within society. Vilda unequivocally condemns any form of macho attitudes, stressing that such behavior has no place in an advanced and developed society. The incident has created an undesirable climate, overshadowing what should have been a momentous occasion celebrating Spanish sport and women’s sport in particular.

Despite the turmoil, Vilda has chosen to remain in his position as head coach of the women’s national team. His decision to stay signifies his commitment to rectifying the situation and rebuilding a team environment built on equality and respect. It is a testament to his belief in the power of sport to inspire positive change.

The implications of this scandal extend beyond the world of women’s football. Even the men’s national team boss, Luis de la Fuente, initially showed support for Rubiales before issuing a statement criticizing his actions. This demonstrates the significant influence and reach of the controversy, impacting the wider football community in Spain.

As this scandal continues to unfold, it serves as a stark reminder of the importance of transparency, mutual respect, and accountability within the realms of sports governance. It highlights the need for stringent guidelines and measures to combat inappropriate behavior and ensure the protection of athletes.

Moving forward, it is crucial for the Spanish football federation to address these issues promptly and decisively. They must institute policies and mechanisms that safeguard the welfare of all individuals involved in the sport, particularly players and coaching staff. The focus should be on rebuilding trust and instilling a culture of inclusivity and gender equality.

Ultimately, this scandal will have a lasting impact on the reputation of Spanish football and the nation’s sporting community as a whole. It serves as a reminder that even in the realm of sports, no one is above scrutiny and accountability. The incident should serve as a catalyst for positive change and a renewed commitment to promoting a safe and respectful environment for all.