Jorge Vilda, who coached the Spanish women’s soccer team to World Cup glory, has publicly denounced Luis Rubiales, the recently suspended president of the Spanish Football Federation, labeling Rubiales’ unsolicited kiss on player Jennifer Hermoso as “unacceptable and highly improper.”
FIFA took swift action against Rubiales on Saturday, suspending him after Hermoso herself confirmed that the kiss, which occurred just before the team hoisted their championship trophy, was against her will.
While Vilda’s coaching staff has collectively stepped down amid the Rubiales scandal, Vilda himself has yet to vacate his position, even after issuing his recent condemning statement.
Vilda was in attendance during the extraordinary general meeting of the Spanish Football Federation last Friday. At the meeting, Rubiales defiantly delivered a spirited speech, asserting his intention not to resign. He even portrayed himself as the target of a “character assassination.”
The two men were formerly close allies. Rubiales had publicly supported Vilda in September of 2022, when 15 players withdrew from the national team. The players cited Vilda’s management style as detrimental to their emotional well-being and overall health. However, only three of those 15 players chose to rejoin the team, which ultimately defeated England in the championship game held in Sydney.
In a statement issued Saturday night, Vilda expressed his remorse: “It’s deeply regrettable that the crowning achievement of Spanish women’s soccer has been overshadowed by the indefensible actions of our, until now, leading figure, Luis Rubiales—actions he himself has acknowledged.”
He continued, “These actions are unquestionably at odds with my own beliefs and the values I uphold in my life, in sports in general, and especially in football. I unequivocally denounce any behavior that reeks of male chauvinism, as it has no place in a progressive and civilized society.”
Vilda also lamented the “palpably negative atmosphere” that has emerged, one that is a far cry from what should have been a celebratory moment for Spanish sports and, more specifically, women’s sports.
He concluded his statement with a reaffirmation of his steadfast commitment: “I stand resolutely committed to advancing a version of sport that embodies the principles of equality and respect within our community.”
FIFA has provisionally barred 46-year-old Rubiales, who had a previous career as a La Liga player for Levante, from participating in any soccer-related activities for an initial period of 90 days.
Furthermore, the Spanish government has initiated legal action with the intent to suspend Rubiales.
Additional updates to follow.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Jorge Vilda condemns Luis Rubiales
What led to the public denouncement of Luis Rubiales by Jorge Vilda?
Who is Jennifer Hermoso?
Jennifer Hermoso is a member of the Spanish women’s soccer team. She confirmed that a kiss from Luis Rubiales just before the team’s championship trophy lift was against her will, leading to Rubiales’ suspension.
Why was Luis Rubiales suspended?
Luis Rubiales was suspended by FIFA after Jennifer Hermoso confirmed that his kiss prior to the team’s trophy lift was non-consensual. The Spanish government has also initiated legal proceedings against him.
What is the stance of Jorge Vilda’s coaching staff?
Jorge Vilda’s entire coaching staff has resigned amid the controversy surrounding Luis Rubiales. However, Vilda himself has chosen not to step down and has issued a statement condemning Rubiales’ actions.
What was the general atmosphere during the extraordinary general meeting of the Spanish Football Federation?
During the meeting, Luis Rubiales defiantly gave a speech, asserting he would not resign and claimed to be the target of a “character assassination.” Jorge Vilda was present at this meeting.
Was there previous tension between Jorge Vilda and the Spanish women’s soccer team?
Yes, in September 2022, 15 players withdrew from the national team, citing Vilda’s management style as detrimental to their emotional well-being and overall health. Only three of those players returned to the team that eventually won the championship.
What legal actions are being taken against Luis Rubiales?
FIFA has provisionally barred Rubiales from participating in any soccer-related activities for an initial period of 90 days. The Spanish government has also initiated legal proceedings with the aim to suspend him.
How does Jorge Vilda view the situation?
Jorge Vilda views the incident as highly regrettable and at odds with his own values. He expressed remorse that the achievement of the Spanish women’s soccer team has been overshadowed by Rubiales’ indefensible actions.
More about Jorge Vilda condemns Luis Rubiales
- FIFA’s Official Statement on Luis Rubiales’ Suspension
- Jorge Vilda’s Public Statement Regarding Luis Rubiales
- Profile of Jennifer Hermoso: A Star in Women’s Soccer
- Spanish Women’s National Team: Road to World Cup Victory
- Previous Player Walkouts and Management Controversies in Spain’s Women’s Team
- Legal Proceedings Against Luis Rubiales: What You Need to Know
- Spanish Football Federation’s Extraordinary General Assembly Recap