The former coach of Spain’s world cup winning women’s football team has been named as a criminal suspect by a judge over his involvement in the scandal sparked by a leading official’s kiss to a star player.
(Bloomberg) — The former coach of Spain’s world cup winning women’s football team has been named as a criminal suspect by a judge over his involvement in the scandal sparked by a leading official’s kiss to a star player.
Jorge Vilda, who was fired earlier this month, will have to appear in court on Oct. 10, the National Court in Madrid said in an email, without specifying why he’s being investigated. Two other officials have also been called to testify as suspects, according to the email.
Luis Rubiales, the former chief of Spain’s football association, sparked a national controversy when he gave footballer Jennifer Hermoso a non-consensual kiss on the lips during World Cup final celebrations on Aug. 20. In the subsequent days Vilda, who already had tense relations with many players, was seen as supportive of Rubiales.
Once Rubiales resigned, Vilda was fired by the caretaker board of the football association. Rubiales himself is facing charges for sexual assault and coercion after Hermoso filed a criminal complaint.
Before Rubiales stepped down, the world champions had said they wouldn’t play again for the national team until widespread structural changes were put in place in the association. Subsequently, many of them joined the team for a match against Sweden amid concerns that the association could sanction them for dismissing the summons to play.
Several months before the world cup, more than 10 players quit the national team to protest Vilda’s management style. Most later agreed to return. Vilda’s former assistant Montse Tome is now the national coach.
The scandal shadowed Spain’s victory at the World Cup and a global movement has emerged to support Hermoso and her teammates.
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