The American Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) he suspended his matches this Friday of the weekend in the middle of the scandal caused by the complaints of several players against a coach for sexual coercion.
On Thursday, Englishman Paul Riley was fired as coach of the North Carolina Courage hours after it was pointed out by inappropriate sexual behavior by two players, in an investigation published by the digital medium The Athletic.
“This week, and much of this season, has been incredibly traumatic for our players and staff, and I take all the responsibility for the role that I have played. I am very sorry for the pain that many are feeling, “he said in a statement on Friday. Lisa Baird, Commissioner of the NWSL (National Women’s Soccer League).
“Recognizing that trauma, we have decided not to go out to the field this weekend to give everyone a little room to reflect, “he noted.”Our whole league has a lot to heal, and our players deserve much better. “
The commissioner assured that this measure, decided in collaboration with the players’ association, it’s just a first step “as we collectively work to transform the culture of this league, something that should have been done a long time ago.”
The day of the weekend should start this Friday with a game precisely from the North Carolina Courage on his court before him Washington Spirit.
The American women’s soccer suffered a new shock on Thursday with the publication of the newspaper article that revealed the accusations against Riley, 58, for events allegedly occurring in various teams and leagues to which he belonged.
Riley, who has denied the allegations, is the second coach of the NWSL sacked this week, after the league terminated the coach’s contract with the Washington Spirit, Richie Burke, following another investigation that revealed allegations of verbal and emotional abuse.
In its report, The Athletic released allegations of inappropriate conduct against Riley made by his former players Sinead Farrelly and Meleana “Mana” Shim.
Farrelly, who played for the coach on three different teams in different leagues, recounts several incidents in which he felt forced to have sex with Riley when he was his coach at the Philadelphia Independence.
Alex Morgan, figure of the US national team and former player of the Portland Thorns, where he played under the orders of Riley, confirmed in the article the accusations of his then companions and in a subsequent message on Twitter stressed that the NWSL, including commissioner Baird, knew the complaints first-hand and took no action.
“The league must accept responsibility by a process in which failed to protect his own players of this abuse, “said Morgan, current figure of the Orlando Pride and champion of the last two World Cups with the US national team.
In a statement to The Athletic, Riley denied misbehaving and said the accusations are “completely false”.
“I have never had sex I have not made sexual advances with these players, “said the coach.
Shortly after the publication of the article, the North Carolina Courage announced the immediate dismissal of Riley for “very serious allegations of misconduct.”