Former Spain women’s boss Jorge Vilda is summoned to appear in court next month as an investigated party in probe over kiss-gate scandal… after the World Cup-winning coach was sacked from his role
- Former Spain women’s boss Jorge Vilda is to appear in court next month
- He has been summoned as an investigated party over the kiss-gate scandal
Former Spain women’s national team coach Jorge Vilda has been summoned to appear before a judge in the probe involving former soccer federation president Luis Rubiales for his kissing a player on the lips after the team won the Women’s World Cup title last month, court officials said Wednesday.
Vilda and two other federation officials were summoned to appear as investigated parties. They are expected to be in court on October 10.
Three national team players had already been summoned as witnesses. Spanish news agency EFE said they were Alexia Putellas, Irene Paredes and Misa Rodríguez.
Spanish state prosecutors have accused Rubiales of sexual assault and coercion for kissing Jenni Hermoso on the lips without her consent during the awards ceremony after the Women’s World Cup final in Australia.
According to a sexual consent law passed last year, Rubiales could face a fine or a prison sentence of one to four years if found guilty of sexual assault. The new law eliminated the difference between ‘sexual harassment’ and ‘sexual assault,’ sanctioning any unconsented sexual act.
Former Spain women’s boss Jorge Vilda is set to appear in court in a probe over kiss-gate
He has been summoned to appear on October 10 as an investigated part as part of the investigation into Luis Rubiales’ kiss of Jenni Hermoso after the World Cup final
Vilda was replaced as coach just weeks after the World Cup final, which Spain won 1-0 against England. He was among those accused of allegedly trying to convince Hermoso to back Rubiales after the kiss.
Rubiales eventually resigned and the players ended their boycott of the national team after being given some guarantees of change within the federation, with players returning for a 3-2 win over Sweden last week.
It came after Spain star Alexia Putellas and Irene Paredes said they had to ‘fight to be heard’ after ending their boycott of the team following stern negotiations with the RFEF in recent weeks.
Putellas said the controversy around kiss-gate – and Rubiales’ initial refusal to resign – was the ‘straw that broke the camel’s back’ that prompted the players to boycott playing for the team until leadership changes were made at the federation.
‘We had been demanding that they listen to us for quite some time because we already knew that there had been systematic discrimination with the women’s (team) for many decades,’ Putellas said at a press conference ahead of a Nation’s League match against Sweden on Friday.
‘We had to fight a lot to be heard.’
Paredes said the players could see there were already improvements being made but that ‘we still can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel.’
Vilda (left) was sacked just weeks after winning the Women’s World Cup for Spain amid the fallout over Rubiales’ conduct
Spain’s women football players have called out decades of ‘systematic discrimination’
She said the players were aware that this was the moment to strike while they ‘held the loudspeaker’ and that their stand could help other women suffering discrimination.
‘We have many people behind us, many colleagues from other teams, colleagues from other sports and women in their jobs, in their lives who are suffering similar cases and we want this to be a point… where they look at each other and can raise their voices and say this has happened to me too,’ Paredes said.
Paredes said the players had felt alone during much of the standoff and that while they were grateful for the Spanish government’s intervention this week, she criticised them for being slow to weigh in.
Between six and nine RFEF senior officials will be invited to leave their jobs or will be sacked as part of a deal to end the boycott, a federation source told Reuters.
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