Spain’s soccer federation, Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) on Tuesday appointed Montse Tome to succeed the fired Jorge Vilda as the women’s national team coach, making her the first woman to manage the side.
Tome had been Vilda’s assistant coach since 2018 and has since “established herself as a key player in the national team’s growth,” the RFEF said in a statement.
Sports Village Square reports that Vilda’s contract was terminated earlier on Tuesday by the federation’s new board, which was formed after the suspension of RFEF President Luis Rubiales by FIFA over his allegedly non-consensual kiss of a Spanish player after the team won the Women’s World Cup two weeks ago.
Jorge Vilda, the coach of Spain’s World Cup-winning women’s team, was sacked on Tuesday, 10 days after FIFA suspended Luis Rubiales for kissing national team player Jenni Hermoso on the mouth.
In a statement that did not mention Hermoso, Rubiales, or the scandal, the RFEF thanked 42-year-old Vilda for his “extraordinary sporting legacy.
“The coach has been key to the remarkable growth of women’s football and leaves Spain as world champions and second in the FIFA rankings,” the RFEF statement said.
The scandal involving Rubiales has quickly spiraled into a national debate over women’s rights and sexist behaviour.
Considered a close ally of Rubiales, Vilda had been under fire since last year after 15 players staged a mutiny calling for his resignation because of inadequate coaching methods and calling for conditions to match those of the men’s squad.
Most of the players involved were cut from the squad even as some demands were met.
Danae Boronat, a sports presenter who interviewed Spain’s leading female players for her book “Don’t Call Them Girls, Call Them Footballers”, said players accused Vilda of micromanaging, such as instructing senior players what to say in interviews.
Vilda and Luis de La Fuente, the men’s national team manager, applauded Rubiales when he refused to resign on Aug. 25 but later issued statements condemning his behaviour.