Former Spain women’s national team coach Jorge Vilda added to probe into Rubiales’ kissing a player

FILE - Spain's head coach Jorge Vilda reacts during the Women's World Cup semifinal soccer match between Sweden and Spain at Eden Park in Auckland, New Zealand, Tuesday, Aug. 15, 2023. The Spanish soccer federation has fired women’s national team coach Jorge Vilda less than three weeks after Spain won the Women’s World Cup title and amid the controversy involving suspended federation president Luis Rubiales. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino, FIle)(AP/Alessandra Tarantino)
MADRID (AP) — Former Spain women’s national team coach Jorge Vilda has been summoned to appear before a judge in the probe involving former soccer federation president Luis Rubiales for his kissing a player on the lips after the team won the Women’s World Cup title last month, court officials said Wednesday.

Vilda and two other federation officials were summoned to appear as investigated parties. They are expected to be in court on Oct. 10.

Three national team players had already been summoned as witnesses. Spanish news agency EFE said they were Alexia Putellas, Irene Paredes and Misa Rodríguez.

Spanish state prosecutors have accused Rubiales of sexual assault and coercion for kissing Jenni Hermoso on the lips without her consent during the awards ceremony after the Women’s World Cup final in Australia.

According to a sexual consent law passed last year, Rubiales could face a fine or a prison sentence of one to four years if found guilty of sexual assault. The new law eliminated the difference between “sexual harassment” and “sexual assault,” sanctioning any unconsented sexual act.

Vilda was replaced as coach not long after the World Cup final. He was among those accused of allegedly trying to convince Hermoso to back Rubiales after the kiss.

Rubiales eventually resigned and the players ended their boycott of the national team after being given some guarantees of change within the federation. Some federation officials have already been fired as a result.

Members of a new committee involving players, the federation and the government met for the first time on Wednesday. Víctor Francos, Spain’s Secretary for Sports and president of the Higher Council for Sports, said the “very positive” meeting helped lay out all the demands made by the players and will lead to a document making the changes official.

“There was a general agreement about the document and we should be able to sign it in the next few days,” Francos said. “I’m very happy for the players, because they deserved this. They’ve shown tremendous professionalism despite all the pressure and the concerns that surrounded them. I’m happy for Spanish sports. Whoever thought this would go away was mistaken.”


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