The kiss scandal surrounding association boss Luis Rubiales continues to occupy Spanish football. Now an important player has to resign: The coach of the women's national team, Jorge Vilda, has been fired by the football association RFEF. The association announced this on Tuesday. Several Spanish media had previously reported, including the newspapers "El País" and "El Mundo". Montse Tomé was appointed as his successor. The 41-year-old is the first woman to take over as coach of the Spanish women's national team.
"The RFEF thanks him for his work at the helm of the national team and in his capacity as head of the women's national teams and for the achievements achieved during his tenure, culminating in the recent World Cup win," the statement said which the association emphasizes the "impeccable personal and sporting behavior" of the 42-year-old.
The background is likely to be the affair surrounding Rubiales and his unsolicited kiss from player Jenni Hermoso after the Spanish team's victory at the Women's World Cup on August 20th. Vilda and Luis de La Fuente, the men's national team coach, applauded Rubiales when he refused to resign on August 25, but later issued statements condemning his behavior.
Vilda has held the post of women's national team coach since 2015. He had his first major problems last September when 15 players announced their resignation from the "Selección" in protest at his way of working. The association then held to the coach.
The Spanish Football Association has since asked for forgiveness. "We must offer our sincere apologies and make a firm and binding commitment that such events must never be repeated," said a letter from RFEF interim president Pedro Rocha released on Tuesday. In it, Rocha speaks of "completely unacceptable behavior on the part of the highest representative" (the association).
"Mr. Rubiales' behavior does not represent the values defended by the Spanish association or the values of Spanish society as a whole," it continued. "The damage done to Spanish football, Spanish sport, Spanish society and all the values of football and sport was enormous."
Fifa had suspended Rubiales for 90 days and initiated disciplinary proceedings. The Spanish sports court Tad decided to open a procedure, but only because of a "serious" misconduct. This means that a suspension of Rubiales by the highest sports authority CSD is not possible. The CSD could only have temporarily removed the 46-year-old from office if Tad had decided to initiate proceedings for "very serious" misconduct.
Rubiales continues to refuse to resign as head of the association, despite requests from the RFEF's regional associations, among others. The association rejected the possibility of a vote of no confidence against the suspended president.
Sources: Spanish Football Federation RFEF, news agencies DPA and Reuters, "El País", "El Mundo"
Note: This article has been updated with the information that Montse Tomé will be Vilda's successor