Former Spain women's boss Jorge Vilda to testify amidst growing 'kiss-gate' tensions


FOOTBALL Former Spain women's boss Jorge Vilda to testify amidst growing 'kiss-gate' tensions

Festus Chuma 19:49 - 27.09.2023

Former Spain women's coach, Jorge Vilda, summoned over 'kiss-gate' scandal following non-consensual kiss by federation president Rubiales during awards.

Former Spain women's national team coach Jorge Vilda, along with two additional federation officials, has been summoned to court as an investigated party in a probing scandal famously dubbed ‘kiss-gate’. 

This unfolding legal drama shadows the aftermath of Spain clinching the Women's World Cup title last month with a 1-0 triumph over England.

The ‘kiss-gate’ scandal burgeoned when former soccer federation president Luis Rubiales kissed player Jenni Hermoso on the lips without her consent during the award ceremony. This act has been scrutinized under a recently enacted sexual consent law, potentially leaving Rubiales facing a fine or a one to four years’ prison sentence if convicted of sexual assault.

The charges leveled against Rubiales are grave, considering the stringent sexual consent law enacted last year in Spain. Under this legislation, any non-consensual sexual act is punishable, blurring the lines traditionally separating 'sexual harassment' and 'sexual assault'. If found guilty, Rubiales could potentially face a fine or a prison sentence ranging between one to four years.

Vilda, relieved of his coaching duties weeks after the triumphant final, is accused of attempting to persuade Hermoso to support Rubiales post the infamous kiss incident. In the wake of these events, Rubiales tendered his resignation.

“Rubiales' initial refusal to resign was the straw that broke the camel's back," expressed Spain star Alexia Putellas as per Daily Mail.

Putellas elaborated, "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. We had to fight a lot to be heard."

This player-led boycott concluded with the team securing a narrow 3-2 victory over Sweden last week, a testament to the promises of change offered by the federation.

Echoing Putellas’ sentiments, Irene Paredes acknowledged the incremental improvements underway but cautioned that the journey was far from over. "We still can't see the light at the end of the tunnel," she remarked cautiously.