Spanish FA Contemplating Dismissing Women’s World Cup-Winning Head Coach

The Spanish Football Federation is currently assessing the possibility of removing Jorge Vilda, the head coach of the Women’s World Cup-winning team. This decision comes after several members of Vilda’s coaching staff resigned in protest against the federation president’s refusal to step down for allegedly kissing a player. The situation has led to a rift within the team, with numerous players expressing their unwillingness to represent the national team as long as the president remains in power.

The controversy surrounding Vilda began after federation president Luis Rubiales refused to resign following accusations of inappropriate behavior. Rubiales kissed squad member Jenni Hermoso after their World Cup win, which prompted the outrage of both the coaching staff and the players. In support of their colleagues, the majority of the coaching staff decided to resign, leaving Vilda to face the consequences alone.

The Spanish Football Federation believes that the accumulation of these incidents provides sufficient grounds for Vilda’s dismissal. The federation’s regional leaders held a meeting to discuss the current situation and proposed a restructuring of the organization in an attempt to foster a new era for women’s football in Spain. However, not all local football association bosses agree with this approach, and some are unwilling to push Rubiales out of his position. Instead, they issued a statement urging him to resign, but Rubiales has thus far refused to do so.

Rubiales previously stood by Vilda during a period of player discontent in 2022 when 15 national-team players withdrew from the squad, citing Vilda’s management as detrimental to their emotional well-being and health. Only three players decided to return to the team, and Spain went on to defeat England in the final. However, Rubiales’ support for Vilda has since received criticism, particularly in light of the incident involving Jenni Hermoso.

The kiss on Hermoso’s lips has become a subject of legal scrutiny, with Spanish prosecutors opening a preliminary investigation into whether it constitutes sexual assault. Additionally, Rubiales has been suspended by FIFA, the global governing body for football, pending further investigation.

The Spanish Football Federation’s deliberation over Jorge Vilda’s potential dismissal has significant implications for the future of women’s football in Spain. It highlights the need for clear guidelines and expectations regarding appropriate conduct, both on and off the field, and the importance of fostering a safe and inclusive environment for players. This controversy serves as a reminder that the actions of those in power have far-reaching consequences and reinforces the call for accountability within football organizations.