After Spanish FA president Luis Rubiales was widely criticised for kissing Jenni Hermoso on the lips on the presentation stage, footage has now emerged of head coach Jorge Vilda appearing to touch a female staff member inappropriately during the game.
In the moments following Olga Carmona’s World Cup-winning goal, the Spanish staff celebrated, but Vilda’s arm appeared to move from his colleague’s shoulder to her breast for longer than a brief moment, before returning.
Vilda is a divisive figure in Spain, backed by Rubiales he has been surrounded by controversy. Last year 15 players in the squad sent an email resigning from the national team – with the support of stars Alexia Putellas, Hermoso and Irene Paredes – and had several complaints.
Until 2019, there was a rule that players could not lock the doors of their hotel rooms at night on international duty. They had to wait until Vilda came over and checked everything was fine.
RFEF Pres behaves inappropriately, tolerating it for others
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The issues revolved around Vilda’s style of management, he was called out for being obsessive over discipline, but there were wider concerns about the outdated set-up overall.
While undoubtedly there are wider problems and concerns beyond what happened in the final, it is problematic that both of Spain’s senior officials, who have consistently held the backing of each other have been widely criticised for their actions.
Many players have reportedly felt infantilised, and The Athletic reported that until four years ago, there was a rule from the top that players were not permitted to lock the doors of their hotel rooms at night on international duty until the manager had come over and checked everything.
Arguably Spain fell short at the Euros last summer when they were knocked out by England in a close quarter final, and that sparked the revolt against Vilda, but the tensions had been brewing for longer.