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Spain names ex-player Montse Tomé as first female head coach

Montse Tomé has served as an assistant coach for Spain since 2018. (Michael Regan - UEFA/UEFA via Getty Images)

Montse Tomé has been named head coach of the Spain women’s national team.

An assistant coach with the team during the 2023 World Cup, Tomé will make her debut as head coach in late September. World champions Spain will compete in the UEFA Nations League, taking on Sweden, Switzerland and Italy in Group A4.

Tomé replaces Jorge Vilda, who was fired on Tuesday as part of the fallout from federation president Luis Rubiales’ actions at the World Cup.

Tomé was one of 12 Spain soccer employees who resigned in the wake of the World Cup celebrations, when Rubiales kissed star forward Jenni Hermoso on the lips. Rubiales has denied that the kiss was non-consensual and has refused to resign from his position, while Hermoso has said that she was a “victim of an impulse-driven, sexist, out of place act without any consent on my part.”

As FIFA investigates the incident, Rubiales has been placed on a 90-day suspension and Spain’s entire World Cup-winning team — plus 33 additional players — have refused to return to the national team without a leadership change.

Tomé, a former midfielder for Spain, made just four international appearances while playing for club teams Levante and FC Barcelona. After retiring in 2012, she began her coaching career and was hired as a Spain assistant in 2018.

Tomé begins her tenure as Spain’s first-ever female head coach.