Spain's head coach faces scrutiny for touching female assistant inappropriately while celebrating

The incident comes amid a national uproar against the president of the Spanish soccer federation after he kissed a player on the lips without her consent during the award ceremony.
Spain's head coach Jorge Vilda, right, celebrates after their win in the Women's World Cup semifinal soccer match
Spain's head coach Jorge Vilda, right, celebrates after their win in the Women's World Cup semifinal soccer match

MADRID: The coach of Spain’s Women’s World Cup champion soccer team is facing scrutiny after footage emerged showing him touching the chest area of a female assistant while celebrating the only goal of the final.

The incident comes amid a national uproar against the president of the Spanish soccer federation after he kissed a player on the lips without her consent during the award ceremony after the 1-0 victory over England in Sydney, Australia.

In a video of Spain’s coaching staff celebrating the goal against England, Jorge Vilda turns to hug three of his assistants — a woman and two men. As he turns to look back at the field, his hand makes contact with the chest of the woman, who was wearing a coat. His other hand was touching a male assistant.

The Spanish soccer federation did not immediately respond to a request for comment by The Associated Press.

Earlier this week, acting Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez called for Spanish soccer federation president Luis Rubiales to be held accountable for his conduct in the final, and there is growing pressure for him to step down.

The scandal caused by Rubiales has marred one the greatest achievements for women’s soccer in Spain. Only Germany and Spain have won both the women’s and men’s World Cup titles.

Vilda led Spain to victory less than a year after 15 players said they were renouncing the team unless major changes were made by its coach to improve the team’s performance and its results. No accusations of improper conduct have been known to be made against Vilda. Three players returned to the team for the Women's World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.

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