Sam Marsdencorrespondent in Barcelona6 minute read
With Rubiales suspended as president of the Spanish Federation for 90 days by FIFA after his unsolicited kiss to the striker Jenni HermosoThe committee of regional presidents in charge of the RFEF, headed by Pedro Rocha, informed Vilda of the decision to fire him. Rocha will meet with the president of the National Sports Council (CSD), Víctor Francos, later on Tuesday.
Vilda was informed of the decision on Tuesday, shortly after the RFEF issued a statement apologizing for Rubiales’ “totally unacceptable behaviour” and saying it was cooperating with the disciplinary measures against him.
Later on Tuesday, the The RFEF appoints Montse Tomé as its replacement. She is the first woman to lead the Spanish women’s team in its history and was Vilda’s second coach since 2018.
“The RFEF wants to convey to all of society and to all of world football its deepest regret for what happened, which has stained our team, our football and our society,” the statement reads. “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.”
The RFEF thanked Vilda in its statement this Tuesday and stated: “The coach has been key in the notable growth of women’s football and left Spain as world champion and second in the FIFA ranking.”
The graphic that the RFEF published on social networks said: “Thank you Jorge.”
In an interview with Cadena Ser radio show El Larguero on Tuesday night, Vilda called her dismissal “unfair.”
“The explanation (given) was structural changes,” he said. “After what we have achieved, I feel calm. I have given 100% and I don’t understand it. I didn’t expect it… I was motivated to play in the Nations League, to play in the Olympic Games. Games.”
“In sports I accept almost anything. Personally I think I have been treated unfairly,” Vilda added. “I have always treated players with respect. To this day, no one has said anything about me directly. Things have been said indirectly. Things have been said that were not true.
“No one has come out to put their name to say ‘Jorge Vilda is this or he did this.’ So far no one has spoken out. “I have been fighting for women’s football for 17 years, for values of respect and equality.”
The RFEF promised a “deep and immediate restructuring” of the organization after Rubiales’ conduct.
That conduct led all 23 members of Spain’s victorious World Cup team to co-sign a statement last month (joined by 58 other current and former players) saying they would not play for the national team again “if the current management continues”. “.
Joan Soteras, president of the Catalan Football Federation and member of the RFEF regional presidents committee, foreshadowed the dismissal last week.
“There have to be structural changes in women’s football,” she said. “One of them could be (removing) Vilda. He was at the center of the mess with the national team (last September). If it were up to me, I would (fire him). A change would be the most convenient.” for the good of women’s football.
Vilda, 42, had held the position since 2015 and, despite never having won a knockout match at a major tournament before this year, was in charge when Spain won the World Cup by beating England 1-0 in the Sydney final.
That victory has been largely overshadowed by Rubiales’ actions. Along with the suspension from FIFA, the Spanish Football Federation called for his resignation and prosecutors opened a preliminary sexual assault investigation into the incident.
Rubiales said the kiss was consensual, but Hermoso refuted that claim, saying in a statement last month that she felt like a “victim of aggression.”
Vilda has been strongly supported by Rubiales – even when 15 players complained about the management structure last September – and initially maintained his silence about Rubiales’ behavior.
When Rubiales announced that he would not resign, the suspended president even offered Vilda a new four-year contract worth 500,000 euros a year.
However, after four assistant coaches of Spain’s senior team, two coaches of the women’s youth teams and five other staff members of the senior and youth women’s teams resigned last month, Vilda issued a statement criticizing the “inappropriate behavior.” ” by Rubiales.
Despite this, the late nature of his comment, the fact that he applauded Rubiales’ speech and his role in the crisis last September with the Spanish women’s team have led to his dismissal.
Vilda said in Tuesday’s interview that her applause for Rubiales was misinterpreted.
“I will never applaud anything sexist or that goes against equality,” she said. “I didn’t know what that meeting was about, I thought I was attending a resignation… I was also applauding (Rubiales’) management.
“When 150 people are applauding it is difficult to be the one who doesn’t. Then you think about it and you think that some things you shouldn’t have applauded… Since the assembly I haven’t spoken with (Rubiales). “
He went on to coach the under-17s and under-19s before moving to the senior team in 2015, when previous coach Ignacio Quereda resigned after players called for his dismissal.
That led players to lobby behind the scenes for change in the RFEF. They wanted the federation to make significant improvements to travel, coaching and coaching staff, and complained about elements of Vilda’s management style on and off the pitch.
After being ignored by the RFEF and denying the accusation that they were trying to blackmail the federation into firing Vilda, 15 players announced last September that they would not play for the national team again until significant changes were made.
Before the World Cup, three of the 15 returned, another five wanted to but were not called up and seven remained unavailable.
During the tournament, Vilda refused to talk about the fractures in the squad and preferred to focus on the 23 players he took to Australia and New Zealand and what happened on the field.
Information from Alex Kirkland of ESPN in this report.