Jorge Vilda dismissed as Spain coach

  • RFEF have finally cut ties with Jorge Vilda
  • Some players have refused to play for Spain since 2022
  • Federation has promised to improve the way it works
RFEF have finally acted on the Jorge Vilda saga
RFEF have finally acted on the Jorge Vilda saga / Catherine Ivill/GettyImages

Jorge Vilda has been dismissed from his position as head coach and sporting director of Spain's women's national team in the wake of the scandal following the recent World Cup.

Vilda was already under pressure after Euro 2022 when 15 players refused to be called up last September, citing problems with the national team environment and the impact on their emotional and mental wellbeing. But RFEF doggedly stuck by him in the face of enormous public pressure.

Even still without a number of their better players who continued the boycott, Spain went on to win the World Cup last month. But celebrations were quickly pushed into the shadows by the behaviour and conduct of RFEF president Luis Rubiales in the moments after the final.

Rubiales had kissed player Jenni Hermoso on the lips, which she later confirmed was not consensual. In another moment, he also grabbed his crotch in proximity to Spain's Queen Letizia and her 16-year-old daughter, Princess Infanta Sofia.

The president initially apologised for his actions but then gave a shocking speech at an RFEF assembly in which he refused to resign. Vilda was part of the audience that applauded Rubiales that day, although there came a point where he could no longer align himself with his crony, who had by then been suspended for 90 days by FIFA, and issued a statement condemning the behaviour.

All of Vilda's support staff resigned in solidarity with Hermoso, while every member of Spain's winning squad also refused to be called up until Rubiales was dismissed. But Vilda still clung to his job.

RFEF have handled the whole debacle regarding Vilda and Rubiales poorly from the start. The federation’s Twitter/X account infamously posted 'Vilda In' following the World Cup final in response to the very valid criticism towards him, while Hermoso was threatened with legal action by the federation for calling out Rubiales for what he did.

At one stage, under pressure from Spanish government officials to take action over Rubiales, RFEF even requested that UEFA suspend its membership, which would have seen all Spanish clubs expelled from UEFA competitions, severely harming the country for the sake of the preservation of the disgraced president.

Even Tuesday's statement regarding Vilda's dismissal read more like a glowing eulogy than a notice of his departure under a set of avoidably grim circumstances.

Earlier in the day, interim RFEF president Pedro Rocha had issued a public apology to "the world of football" for the "inappropriate conduct" of Rubiales, which he said did not represent the "values" of Spanish society, its institutions, representatives, athletes or leaders.

As part of the apology, Rocha promised "a whole set of actions that improve the governance of the Spanish football federation, and make it possible to repair, to the extent possible, the damage caused."