Spanish manager Vilda could get sacked in ‘kissgate’ fallout

Spanish manager Vilda could get sacked in ‘kissgate’ fallout
Jorge Vilda appears to touch Spanish coach's chest during World Cup celebrations

The manager of the Spanish women’s football team could get the sack, according to reports, as the fallout from the ‘kissgate’ scandal gathers pace.

The Spanish football federation (RFEF) is mulling Jorge Vilda’s dismissal just 10 days after his side won the Women’s World Cup, according to Sky Sports.

Vilda has come under pressure after applauding embattled RFEF president Luis Rubiales’ controversial speech on Friday.

The 46-year-old Rubiales has faced repeated calls to step down from his position as the head of Spain’s football association in recent weeks, after he grabbed Spanish striker Jenni Hermoso and kissed her mouth during the Women’s World Cup medal ceremony.

Hermoso has since said the action was not consensual. She said the situation had left her feeling “vulnerable and a victim of aggression”.

In her statement she described the kiss as “an impulsive act, sexist, out of place and without any type of consent from my part. In short, I wasn’t respected.”

FIFA, the sport’s governing body, has suspended Rubiales for 90 days starting on 26 August. The Spanish FA has stuck firmly by its boss throughout and has even threatened to sue Hermoso.

Separately on 28 August, a Spanish court opened a preliminary investigation to see if what took place was a sexual assault.

Spain’s labour minister and second deputy prime minister Yolanda Diaz has also weighed in. She said male chauvinism is “systemic” in the country.

By Monday, Vilda had performed a u-turn on his position, hitting out at Rubiales for his “improper behaviour”.

Acting RFEF president Pedro Rocha is expected to make a decision on Vilda’s future today. Vilda has no players or coaches for upcoming games after the entire squad said last Friday they would not play for their country again until the leadership at the federation had been ousted.

Rubiales still has support from his mother, however, who locked herself in a church on Monday and declared herself on hunger strike over what she called the “inhumane and bloodthirsty hunt” of her son.

Ángeles Béjar locked herself in the 19th-century Divina Pastora church in the city of Motril, according to local news agency Efe, saying she would stay in the church “indefinitely, day and night”.

Her position doesn't appear to be shared by many though. Mass protests have already taken place this against what some are calling Spain’s #metoo moment.

By the morning of Wednesday 30 August, Rubiales was still in post, albeit with his temporary FIFA suspension.

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