(Washington) Players from Washington Spirit and Gotham FC suspended their game for more than a minute on Wednesday in protest of sexual abuse allegations by former players, allegations rocking the North American Women’s Soccer League.
This tournament encounter champions paused the game, placing themselves arms in arm, arms in a circle, inside the center circle. They did so in the sixth minute, to symbolize the number of years it took for the alleged actions of brave former North Carolina coach Paul Riley, who was fired last week after allegations of sexual assault by two exes, became known. players.
Thus, Sinead Farrelly testified in an article for The Athletic that she was forced into forced relationships when she played under his orders at the Philadelphia Independence. Besides Mana Shim, they also claimed that on another occasion, when Riley was coaching them with the Portland Thorns in 2015, he forced them to kiss in his apartment.
The allegations, which prompted FIFA to open an investigation, seriously shook the world soccer federation, as they accompanied criticism of the inaction of Commissioner Lisa Bird, who ended up resigning. Like Washington Spirit president Steve Baldwin, whose decision to fire head coach Richie Burke after accusations of verbal and moral harassment has not made us forget his long passive handling of the case.
The match interruption came as a sign of “solidarity” with the victims of the abuse, according to the NWSLPA. “Tonight, we take our place on the field because we will not let our joy be taken away from us,” they said after refusing to play last weekend.
Two more games were played on Wednesday and there were similar interruptions in play, between North Carolina Courage and Racing Louisville in Cary, North Carolina, and between the Portland Thorns and Houston Dash in Oregon.
In a press release, the players’ union detailed a list of proposals, including that each coach and general manager submit an independent investigation into abusive behaviour. The NCAA also demanded that the open investigation announced by the league on Sunday be extended to its 12 clubs, as well as its employees.
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