World Cup winning coach Jorge Vilda has been dismissed by the RFEF ©Getty Images

The coach of Spain's FIFA Women's World Cup-winning team Jorge Vilda has been dismissed, on the same day the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) apologised to players of the national team for the "totally unacceptable behaviour" of its President Luis Rubiales.

The RFEF has not given a specific reason for the departure of Vilda, who has been women's national team coach and sports director since 2015.

During Vilda's tenure as sports director the team has won the Under-17 World Cup twice, in 2018 and 2022, and the Under-20 World Cup in 2022.

"The RFEF appreciates his work at the head of the national team and in his functions as the head of sports for the women's teams, as well as the successes achieved during his time crowned with the recent achievement of the World Cup," the RFEF said in a statement.

"We value his impeccable personal and sporting conduct, being a key piece in the notable growth of women's football in Spain. During his extensive period, Vilda has been a promoter of the values of respect and sportsmanship in football. 

"The RFEF would like to express its gratitude to Jorge Vilda for the services provided, for his professionalism and dedication during all these years, wishing him the best successes in the future.

"The RFEF is left with an extraordinary sporting legacy thanks to the implementation of a recognised game model and a methodology that has been an engine of growth for all the women's categories of the national team."

Vilda was seen applauding Rubiales during his speech at an RFEF Extraordinary General Assembly when Rubiales defiantly claimed "he would not resign."

Vilda did not publicly criticise Rubiales until a week after the incident when he issued a statement saying he "regretted deeply that the victory of Spanish women's football has been harmed by the inappropriate behaviour that our until now top leader, Luis Rubiales."

A day earlier 11 members of the Spanish women's coaching staff had issued a statement saying they were resigning, a move which left just Vilda in post.

A mural by Italian artist Salvatore Benintende showing Luis Rubiales kissing Jenni Hermoso in Barcelona ©Getty Images
A mural by Italian artist Salvatore Benintende showing Luis Rubiales kissing Jenni Hermoso in Barcelona ©Getty Images

Hours before Vilda's dismissal RFEF Interim President Pedro Rocha issued a two-page apology saying that Rubiales' action of kissing Jennifer Hermoso during the Women's World Cup final podium presentation had "tarnished" the nobility and international prestige of Spanish society and sport.

Hermoso had claimed Rubiales' actions were "against her will."

"The damage caused to Spanish football, to Spanish sport, to Spanish society and to the values of football and sport as a whole has been enormous," the official statement from RFEF read.

"The RFEF wants to convey to the whole of society and to the whole of world football its deepest regret for what has happened, which has tarnished our national team, our football and our society.

"We feel deeply sorry for the damage caused and therefore, we must ask for the most sincere apologies and acquire a firm and absolute commitment that facts like these can never happen again."

The RFEF went on to say that it has opened disciplinary proceedings against Rubiales and wants a definitive resolution as soon as possible for the damage caused.

Rubiales faced widespread criticism for kissing Hermoso on the lips during the awards ceremony after Spain won its first Women's World Cup, beating England 1-0 in the final on August 20.

Since then, the 46-year-old was provisionally suspended by FIFA, barring him from all football activities for 90 days while the world governing body investigates the matter.

The official, who has refused to resign, has defended his actions since day one, and has vowed to "fight until the end".

Rubiales even accused Hermoso of lying while the 33-year-old midfielder maintained that "in no moment" did she consent to the kiss.

Interim President Pedro Rocha said that Luis Rubiales' actions has "tarnished" the nobility and international prestige of Spanish society and sport ©RFEF
Interim President Pedro Rocha said that Luis Rubiales' actions has "tarnished" the nobility and international prestige of Spanish society and sport ©RFEF

Twenty-two members of the Spanish women's team along with Hermoso have said that they will not play for the country until Rubiales quits.

The RFEF also condemned the immediate reactions from Rubiales following the scandal, confirming it withdrew "all those inappropriate and meaningless communications" that happened without considering the statement from Hermoso.

The statement from Rocha also reiterated that RFEF members have called for Rubiales to resign.

"To be clear, this position was that of Mr. Rubiales, not that of the RFEF," it read.

"We are particularly saddened and embarrassed by the additional hurt and distress this has caused.

"The actions of Mr. Rubiales do not represent the values defended by the Spanish Federation, nor the values of Spanish society as a whole, and his actions must be attributed solely and exclusively to him, since he is the only one responsible for his actions before society, before the sporting bodies and, if applicable, before the courts."

Weeks after the incident, the men's team from the country responded, with skipper Alvaro Morata criticising Rubiales for his "unacceptable behaviour".

"We want to reject what we consider to be unacceptable behaviour from Mr Rubiales, who has not lived up to the institution he represents," a statement from the men's team read.

"We firmly and unequivocally stand on the side of the values that this sport represents."