MADRID — Women’s World Cup winner and former Spain coach Jorge Vilda was appointed as the new manager of the Morocco women’s team, succeeding Frenchman Reynald Pedros.
Vilda, who won the Women’s World Cup with Spain in August, was sacked 10 days after FIFA suspended former Spanish FA (RFEF) president Luis Rubiales for giving a non-consensual kiss to striker Jenni Hermoso during the medal ceremony in Sydney.
The 42-year-old coach, who considered his dismissal “unfair”, was widely criticised for repeatedly applauding Rubiales during an emergency RFEF assembly in which the latter railed against “false feminism” and vowed not to resign.
Vilda is now also being investigated by Spain’s High Court in the alleged case of sexual assault and coercion against Rubiales following the controversial kiss.
Originally, only Rubiales was under formal investigation, while other federation officials and players were called as witnesses.
Pedros joined Morocco in November 2020 and led the team to their first ever World Cup this year in Australia and New Zealand.
They became the first Arab side to qualify for the last 16, but after two friendly losses against Zambia, Pedros was dismissed.
“The book closes and I am very disappointed not to continue my mission with the Moroccan national A team,” Pedros said according to Reuters.
But, so proud to have put this team on top of the world,” Pedros posted on social media platform X.
Spain won the Women’s World Cup for the first time on August 20 after Olga Carmona’s first-half goal secured a 1-0 victory over England.
Rubiales has been a staunch supporter of Vilda, backing him after 15 players wrote to the RFEF in September last year asking not to be called up until changes were made to the national set-up.
The 42-year-old had been in charge of Spain since 2015. He had been in the Spain Women’s coaching set-up since 2009 and previously held coaching roles the under-17 and under-19 sides, winning two European Under 17 Championship titles and finishing as runners up in the Under 17 Women’s World Cup in 2014.