The Spanish soccer federation fired women’s national team coach Jorge Vilda on Tuesday after he delivered the nation the 2023 World Cup. This follows controversy stemming from him kissing player Jenni Hermoso on the lips without her consent during the title celebrations in Sydney last month.
Both Vilda and federation president Luis Rubiales were sanctioned due to their behavior following the team’s 2023 victory. Olga Carmona scored Spain’s historic winning goal to give the nation its first-ever World Cup championship.
However, their lewd gestures and inappropriate kissing of some of the players drew criticism from many, including members of the Spanish team themselves, who refused to play for Jorge Vilda following the incident.
Forward Jenni Hermoso said “she didn’t enjoy” being kissed by Spanish football president Luis Rubiales who has now apologized to any “people who felt hurt.”
Rubiales, who also grabbed his crotch in a lewd victory gesture after the final, has been suspended by FIFA and is facing a Spanish government case against him, along with widespread calls for him to voluntarily step down. He has refused.
For his part of things, Jorge Vilda did at least issue a video apology and said that he regrets his actions. However, he still says he feels that he has been punished too harshly.
“In sporting terms, I’ll accept almost anything. In personal terms, I think I’ve been unfairly treated,” Vilda said. “I’ve always treated the players with respect. To this day, nobody has said anything about me directly.”
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