Just days after Spanish FA president Luis Rubiales faced a wave of criticism and resignation calls for kissing player Jenni Hermoso in their World Cup triumph, it is head coach Jorge Vilda’s turn in the furnace.
Vilda was caught on camera grabbing the breast of a female staff member in their 1-0 win over England in the 2023 Women’s World Cup final at the Olympic Stadium in Australia on Sunday, August 20, 2023.
The 42-year-old who has become a polarizing figure in recent years with the players accusing him of toxicity, was captured during the celebration of the lone goal that assured them of the trophy.
Olga Carmona struck the goal in the 29th minute to send the La Roja camp into ecstasy – during which Vilda’s left hand found comfort on the breast of the staff member.
Complaints around Vilda’s conduct
The Spanish coach’s conduct has for a while now been a subject of debate. He has been accused by players of creating a toxic and controlling environment.
According to Mundo Deportivo, he forced players to let open their doors until midnight so that he could personally check that they were in their rooms.
The Spanish newspaper reported that he assigned himself the duties of closing the doors and turning off the lights before going to sleep.
The players accused him of excessive control saying he checked their shopping bags, asked who they were going to meet when leaving the camp, and their movement was strictly monitored.
In 2022, in a letter to the federation, 15 players called for the sacking of Vilda stating that they will not be available for national team duties if he remains in charge.
Fractures evident at the World Cup despite triumph
The Spanish FA kept faith in Vilda despite the 15 players alleging that he was damaging their mental health. And with this, divisions became evident at the World Cup that was recently co-hosted by Australia and New Zealand.
He was forced to run to the pitch to celebrate with the players their quarter-final win against the Netherlands after being snubbed by his staff.
Barcelona midfielder Alexia Putellas also snubbed his handshake after their semi-final win over Sweden. The rift between him and his players continues to widen.