MADRID, Sept. 5 (Xinhua) -- The Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) announced on Tuesday that Jorge Vilda has been dismissed as the coach of the Spanish Women's Football team, with Montse Tome taking over the role.
Tome, who served as Vilda's assistant since 2018, will lead the team in the upcoming UEFA Nations League matches against Sweden and Switzerland on September 22 and 26, respectively.
Vilda had held his position since 2015. However, his tenure was marred by controversy when, in September 2022, 15 members of the women's squad declined to play for Spain under his leadership. The players cited inadequate preparation and training sessions and criticized Vilda's overbearing behavior. Allegations arose that he would inquire about their whereabouts, shopping purchases, and even insisted they leave their hotel doors unlocked.
His dismissal came shortly after the RFEF apologized for the actions of the suspended RFEF President, Luis Rubiales. Rubiales faced backlash for making inappropriate gestures and kissing Spain player Jenni Hermoso during the celebrations of Spain's 1-0 victory over England in the World Cup final just over two weeks ago.
Rubiales had backed Vilda during the dispute, and only three of the 15 players who withdrew from the national team were included in the World Cup squad. Rubiales' suspension, combined with Vilda's public support of a speech Rubiales gave on August 25, in which he declined to resign and criticized "false feminists," added to the pressure on Vilda. The situation escalated when Vilda's coaching staff, including Tome, resigned collectively, and the players declared they would not play again until Rubiales stepped down. ■