Jorge Vilda was fired as head coach of Spain’s women’s national team Tuesday, nearly two weeks after the 23 players who won the World Cup in August called for his ouster.

Vilda’s former assistant coach, Montse Tome, replaced the 42-year-old, becoming the first woman to occupy the position.

Vilda had become embroiled in a larger sexism scandal involving Spanish football federation president Luis Rubiales, who forcibly kissed Women’s World Cup winner Jenni Hermoso during the team’s medal ceremony.

Hermoso said the kiss wasn’t consensual and that it amounted to sexual assault.

Rubiales is currently serving a provisional suspension while FIFA conducts an investigation.

Vilda, long considered one of Rubiales’ closest allies, applauded the under-fire president during an impassioned speech in which the head of the Spanish federation pleaded his innocence and vowed not to resign. Rubiales, who’s repeatedly said the kiss was consensual, also offered Vilda a multi-year contract worth €500,000 per year.

Rubiales’ stance prompted 81 national team players, including the entire Women’s World Cup-winning squad, to go on strike.

Vilda eventually distanced himself from Rubiales, saying his “improper behavior” detracted from Spain’s success at the World Cup. However, when all six members of Vilda’s backroom staff quit in protest over Rubiales’ conduct, the head coach stayed on.

In September 2022, 15 members of Spain’s women’s team refused call-ups, claiming their “emotional state” and “health” suffered under Vilda. Three of them returned to play at the Women’s World Cup.

Spain overcame the threat of a mutiny to win the Women’s World Cup for the first time, beating England in the final in Sydney on Aug. 20.

In an apparent attempt to clap back at Vilda’s critics, the official account for Spain’s women’s team wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter, “VILDA IN.”

Earlier Tuesday, the Spanish federation offered its “most sincere apologies” for Rubiales’ behavior and vowed to repair the “enormous” damage he’s caused.

But it offered a far more glowing assessment of Vilda’s tenure, which began in 2015 following stints with the women’s under-17 and under-19 teams.

“We highly value his impeccable personal and sporting conduct, as he has been a key figure in the significant growth of women’s football in Spain,” read a statement. “Throughout his extensive tenure, Vilda has been a promoter of respect and sportsmanship values in football.”

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