An abuse scandal shakes women’s football in the USA!
After the revelations about North Carolina coach Paul Riley (58) no stone is left unturned in the NWSL professional league. It’s about at least two soccer players, a lot of alcohol, invitations to hotel rooms – lewd WhatsApp messages, abuse of power and sex.
What exactly happened?
In an article on the platform “The Athletic”, Sinead Farrelly (31) and Meleana Shim (30) reported on their shocking experiences with Riley, who allegedly harassed them for several years and forced them to have sex. The denies all allegations, describes them as “completely untrue”. However, he lost his coaching post on the day the article was published. And: the association withdrew his license.
There were allegations against Riley as early as 2015 – the complaints then came to nothing. In April this year, league boss Lisa Baird was asked by Farrelly in an email to re-examine the allegations. She refused – and resigned a day after the revelations.
Noticeable: In the clubs of the league, primarily men are in charge. At the beginning of the current season, eight of the ten coaching positions were occupied by men. The same picture with the managers. World champion and ex-world footballer Megan Rapinoe complained on Twitter: “Men protect men who abuse women. Burn everything down. Let all their heads roll. “
The players in the USA are now demanding clarification and change from their association. The trade union “NWSLPA” published a statement under the title #noMoreSilence (German: No more silence). A game day was suspended in protest.
To this end, the association was asked to expand the investigations to all twelve clubs in the league. And: Every coach, manager and owner should voluntarily pass the test results on to the players’ union.
In order to emphasize the demands, the players came up with a special action on Thursday: In the games of Washington against Gotham and North Carolina against Louisville, the game was interrupted after six minutes: The players of both teams came together at the center circle, embraced – and were silent. Her statement: “No return to normal.”
The sixth minute was meant to draw attention to the fact that it took six years for the allegations to be taken seriously and made public.
The scandal is also making waves internationally!
In the course of the investigation, more players have spoken in the past few days. Among them: Deyna Castellanos (22). The Venezuelan currently plays for Atlético Madrid. On Twitter, she thanked Farrelly and Shim – stressed her courage.
And she also reports in a long statement of comparable experiences in the Venezuelan national team. For a long time she was silent: “For many years we persuaded ourselves that these experiences were normal. I assumed that this misogynist environment of destructive control and humiliation was the price you, as a female athlete, have to pay if you want to be a professional. I believed what I saw and experienced was normal. But now I am writing this so that all athletes will know in the future: Nothing of all is normal. “
The Australian national player Lisa de Vanna (36) also reported sexual harassment and harassment in an interview with the Australian Telegraph. The football association announced investigations, speaks of a “zero tolerance policy”.