The Royal Spanish Football Federation finally fires women's head coach Jorge Vilda
The GIST: The Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) finally fired embattled Spanish women’s national team coach Jorge Vilda yesterday, bringing his tumultuous tenure to an end. But somehow, disgraced RFEF president Luis Rubiales still remains in power.
Jorge Vilda: Vilda took La Roja’s reins in 2015 and saw little success until the nation’s first-ever Women’s World Cup (WWC) win just over two weeks ago. Vilda’s relationship with his squad was icy at best throughout the tournament, relating to the players’ ongoing protest of the RFEF, which backed Vilda’s leadership despite the allegations of toxic workplace culture.
- The RFEF named former assistant coach and national team player, Montse Tomé, as Vilda’s successor, making her the first woman to ever coach La Roja.
- And while it’s certainly news worth celebrating, Tomé’s promotion is yet another example of the glass cliff — when a woman or person of color is brought into a leadership position to “save” an organization in crisis, putting them in a difficult position to succeed. Sigh.
Luis Rubiales: On Monday, Spain’s men’s national team put out their first statement since Rubiales forcibly kissed women’s national team star Jenni Hermoso following their WWC win, calling the behavior “unacceptable,” but falling short of demanding he step down.
- Hours before Vilda’s firing was made official, the RFEF apologized for Rubiales’ conduct amid repeated calls for his resignation. As a reminder, the RFEF holds the power to oust him — a vote of no-confidence from the organization’s 140-person general assembly is the fastest way to remove Rubiales from power. Tick tock.