Spain soccer manager Jorge Vilda fired amid Luis Rubiales scandal

Jorge Vilda won the Women's World Cup with Spain this year. (REUTERS/Amanda Perobelli)
Jorge Vilda won the Women's World Cup with Spain this year. (REUTERS/Amanda Perobelli)

Interim Spanish soccer federation (RFEF)president Pedro Rocha reportedly fired women's soccer head manager Jorge Vilda on Tuesday morning, the RFEF announced in a statement. Vilda led Spain to its first Women's World Cup championship over England on Aug. 20.

"The RFEF would like to express its gratitude to Jorge Vilda for the services he has provided, for his professionalism and dedication during all these years, wishing him the best of success in the future," the RFEF wrote in the statement. "The RFEF is left with an extraordinary sporting legacy thanks to the implementation of a recognized game model and a methodology that has been the engine of growth for all the women's categories of the national team."

This decision comes hours after the RFEF apologized for "the inappropriate conduct of Luis Rubiales" in a statement.

Rubiales, the now-suspended RFEF president who forcibly kissed Spanish midfielder Jenni Hermoso after the World Cup final, vehemently refused to step down in front of an emergency session of the federation. The RFEF later asked Rubiales to resign. Vilda, 42, was conspicuously one of the only Spanish coaches not to resign in the wake of the Rubiales scandal.

Vilda was also the main subject of a mass resignation by Spanish women's soccer players in 2022. Fifteen players walked away from the team after they asked either Vilda to step down or for Rubiales to fire him. Players called Vilda's demeanor "dictatorial" and said the culture around the team negatively affected their mental health. After they won the World Cup, Spanish players visibly ignored Vilda during their post-match celebrations.

Vilda became Spain's manager in 2015 after five years as the coach of the U17 squad and two as the coach of the U19 team.