2023 Women’s World Cup-winning coach Jorge Vilda sacked by Spanish FA

2023 Women’s World Cup winning coach Jorge Vilda has been sacked as manager of the Spain national women’s side, the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) have confirmed.

Jorge Vilda led Spain to a 1-0 win over England as they won their first Women’s World Cup on August 20, only 16 days before his dismissal, but his connections with the suspended Rubiales who kissed Spain forward Jenni Hermoso during the trophy presentation ceremony have since come back to haunt him.

Vilda was seen applauding Rubiales at an emergency RFEF meeting in which Rubiales declared he wouldn’t resign from his position, despite Hermoso saying the kiss was non-consensual.

The statement, announcing Jorge Vilda’s removal, read: “The coach [Vilda] was key to the notable growth of women’s football and leaves Spain as world champions and second in the FIFA rankings.

“The Royal Spanish Football Federation, in one of the first measures of restructuring announced by president Pedro Rocha, has decided to let go of the services of Jorge Vilda as sporting director and women’s national team coach, a position, the latter, which he took on in 2015.

“RFEF appreciates his work at the head of the national team and his responsibilities as the maximum sporting figure of the women’s national teams, as well as the successes reaped during his term, crowned with the recent achievement of the World Cup.

We value his impeccable personal and sporting conduct, being a key part of the notable growth of women’s football in Spain.

“During his extensive-term, Jorge Vilda has been a promoter of the values of respect and sportsmanship in football. Since his arrival at the Federation, Jorge Vilda has given a notable push which is reflected in the great results achieved.

“As a coach, he twice won the U-17 Euros and also won the U-19 Euros, but his biggest achievement was winning the World Cup in Australia and New Zealand. When, in 2015, he assumed the role of national team coach, the squad was far from the elite of the game and now it’s second in the FIFA rankings.

“As a sporting director, Spain has won the U-17 World Cup on two occasions (2018 and 2022) and also won the trophy for the U-20 category (2022).

“Additionally, in his trophy cabinet are two U-19 Euros and two U-17 Euros, with the national academy being the most successful in recent times.

“RFEF wishes to express its gratitude to Jorge Vilda for his services given, for his professionalism and his dedication during all these years, and we wish him the best success in the future.

“RFEF will keep the memory of an extraordinary sporting legacy thanks to the implementation of a recognised model of play and a methodology which was the motor of growth for all categories of the women’s national team.”

Also on Tuesday, Spanish FA (RFEF) president Pedro Rocha released a statement apologising for the actions of Rubiales, who has been suspended by FIFA.

Rocha’s statement said that he is “ashamed” of the actions of Rubiales, and that the RFEF would assist FIFA with their investigation as they moved to distance themselves from Rubiales’ actions.

Rocha’s statement said, “The damage caused to Spanish football, to Spanish sport, to Spanish society and the values of football and sport as a whole have been enormous.

“Mr Rubiales’ actions do not represent the values defended by the Spanish federation, nor the values of Spanish society as a whole. His actions must be attributed solely and exclusively to him, since he is the one solely responsible for those actions before society, before the sports governing bodies and, if applicable, before justice.

“To be clear, this position was that of Mr Rubiales, not that of the RFEF. We feel especially sorry and ashamed for the pain and additional distress this has caused.

“The RFEF is providing all the documentary and administrative support that is required from both disciplinary bodies to be able to have a definitive resolution as soon as possible that allows the damage caused to be compensated.”

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