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Spain took home the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup title, but ever since it has been a complete mess for the nation’s soccer federation.
It’s hard to fathom a championship-winning coach getting the axe, but that’s precisely what has happened to head coach Jorge Vilda, who has been shown the door.
It wasn’t the team’s on-field performance that cost Vilda his job. Instead, he has been caught in the post-tournament scandals surrounding the president of the nation’s soccer federation, Luis Rubiales.
The federation president’s behavior — including planting a kiss on Spanish star Jenni Hermoso — led to FIFA giving him a 90-day suspension after he refused to step down.
Interestingly, Vilda initially supported the president amid all of the controversy. However, he eventually changed his tune.
Last week, he ripped the Rubiales in an interview with Spanish outlet EFE.
“The events that have taken place since Spain won the Women’s World Cup for the first time in its history and to this day have been a real nonsense and have generated an unprecedented situation, tarnishing a well-deserved victory for our players and our country,” Vilda said, per Fox News.
Vilda’s tenure as the Spanish head coach wasn’t without controversy. In fact, he was already one of the federation’s most controversial figures going into the tournament.
Some Spanish players signed a letter before the tournament complaining about conditions and Vilda himself. According to The New York Post, 15 players left the team for mental health reasons, and only three returned to compete at the World Cup.
Shortly after news of Vilda’s firing broke, the Spanish federation named his replacement. Montse Tomé — a former national team player and assistant — will now lead the team. Her appointment makes her the team’s first-ever female head coach.
Follow on X: @Matt_Reigle