Spain coaching team quits over Luis Rubiales row – but manager backs under-fire president

All of the World Cup-winning staff have resigned over the row around Rubiales’s kiss of player Jenni Hermoso – except for Jorge Vilda

Alex Pattle
Saturday 26 August 2023 17:36 BST
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Moment Spanish FA president kisses Spain's Jenni Hermoso on the lips after World Cup win

The coaching staff of Spain’s women’s team have resigned amid the ongoing row with Luis Rubiales – with the exception of manager Jorge Vilda.

Rubiales, president of the Spanish FA, has come under fire since kissing Spanish player Jenni Hermoso in the aftermath of the team’s World Cup triumph over England, and he has now been suspended by Fifa after refusing to step down.

The latest development in the saga has seen Spain’s coaching team quit, except for controversial manager Vilda. Assistant managers Montse Tome, Javier Lerga and Eugenio Gonzalo Martin have resigned, as have physio Blanca Romero Moraleda and goalkeeping coach Carlos Sanchez.

In a statement, the coaching staff said: “Those named below express their firm and resounding condemnation of the conduct shown by the RFEF president. He offered a story that does not reflect in any way what was felt by Jenni Hermoso, who has expressly stated that she felt she was the ‘victim of aggression’.

“Given the unacceptable attitudes and statements made by the president, they have made the decision to relieve themselves of their duties.”

The head coach of Spain’s men’s team, Luis de la Fuente, who on Friday clapped Rubiales when he gave a speech saying he would not resign, issued a statement on Saturday criticising him. “The behaviour of Luis Rubiales did not respect the minimum protocol that must be followed in these celebratory acts,” De la Fuente said.

“They are not edifying or appropriate for a person who was representing all of Spanish football. He himself has publicly acknowledged the inappropriateness of his behaviour.”

FA Spanish president Luis Rubiales kisses Jenni Hermoso

Rubiales has been banned from all football-related activity for 90 days and is not allowed to contact Hermoso or those close to her.

He is currently the subject of a Fifa investigation into his behaviour after the match, when he kissed Hermoso on the lips and was also filmed grabbing his crotch in an aggressive celebration at the full-time whistle.

Those events followed Spain’s 1-0 win over England in the World Cup final, in Sydney on Saturday 19 August, as the Spanish side claimed its first major trophy.

Additional reporting by PA

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