Luis Rubiales: Spain coach Jorge Vilda slams ‘inappropriate behaviour’ of FA chief in World Cup kiss row

Vilda’s entire coaching staff have resigned in protest against Luis Rubiales, who “grabbed and kissed” Spain squad member Jenni Hermoso following the the team’s victory over England in Sydney.

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Spain’s Women’s World Cup-winning head coach Jorge Vilda has slammed the behaviour of suspended football federation president Luis Rubiales, dubbing the moment he kissed player Jenni Hermoso at the final “inappropriate and unacceptable”. Rubiales was “provisionally suspended” by FIFA on Saturday (August 26) after Hermoso said the kiss which happened before the team lifted the trophy was not consensual.

In the wake of the incident, Vilda’s entire coaching staff have resigned in protest. However, Vilda himself has not stepped down despite his criticism of Rubiales.

The coach was also spotted applauding at the Spanish federation’s general assembly on Friday (August 25), during which Rubiales said he would not resign and claimed he was the victim of “social assassination”.

Jorge Vilda is seen prior to the FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia & New Zealand 2023 Final match between Spain and England at Stadium Australia on August 20, 2023 in Sydney, Australia.Jorge Vilda is seen prior to the FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia & New Zealand 2023 Final match between Spain and England at Stadium Australia on August 20, 2023 in Sydney, Australia.
Jorge Vilda is seen prior to the FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia & New Zealand 2023 Final match between Spain and England at Stadium Australia on August 20, 2023 in Sydney, Australia.

Rubiales, 46, previously stood by Vilda in September 2022 when 15 national-team players pulled out of the team, claming the manager’s management was affecting their emotional health. Only three returned to the Spain squad, which went on to beat England in the final in Sydney.

In a statement, Vilda said: “I regret deeply that the victory of Spanish women’s football has been harmed by the inappropriate behaviour that our until now top leader, Luis Rubiales, has carried out and that he himself has recognised. There is no doubt that it is unacceptable and does not reflect at all the principles and values that I defend in my life, in sport in general and in football in particular.

File photo dated 20-08-2023 of Spanish FA president Luis Rubiales. FIFA has suspended Spanish FA president Luis Rubiales from all football-related activities at national and international level in relation to his conduct at the women’s World Cup final in Sydney. Issue date: Saturday August 26, 2023. PA Photo. See PA story SOCCER Spain. Photo credit should read Isabel Infantes/PA Wire.File photo dated 20-08-2023 of Spanish FA president Luis Rubiales. FIFA has suspended Spanish FA president Luis Rubiales from all football-related activities at national and international level in relation to his conduct at the women’s World Cup final in Sydney. Issue date: Saturday August 26, 2023. PA Photo. See PA story SOCCER Spain. Photo credit should read Isabel Infantes/PA Wire.
File photo dated 20-08-2023 of Spanish FA president Luis Rubiales. FIFA has suspended Spanish FA president Luis Rubiales from all football-related activities at national and international level in relation to his conduct at the women’s World Cup final in Sydney. Issue date: Saturday August 26, 2023. PA Photo. See PA story SOCCER Spain. Photo credit should read Isabel Infantes/PA Wire.

“I condemn without doubt any macho attitude, [which should be] far from an advanced and developed society. A clearly undesirable climate has been generated, far from what should have been a great celebration of Spanish sport and women’s sport.

“I reiterate my unwavering commitment to promoting a sport that is a model of equality and respect in our society.”