FIFA judicial authorities have opened an investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct against coach Paul Riley as this weekend’s National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) games were postponed.
North Carolina Courage, who plays in the United States’ top women’s league, fired British-born coach Riley on Thursday after allegations of sexual misconduct against female players were made public.
The allegations were made after an investigation by the athletic, who spoke to more than a dozen players Riley had coached since 2010, including two — Sinead Farrelly and Mana Shim — who went on record to detail Riley’s pattern of behavior.
Riley, 58, who has coached women’s teams since 2006, denies the allegations.
“Due to the seriousness and seriousness of the allegations made by players, we can confirm that FIFA’s judicial authorities are actively investigating the matter and have opened a preliminary investigation,” FIFA said in a statement to the United Nations. Associated Press.
“As part of this, FIFA will contact the respective parties, including US Soccer and NWSL, for more information about the various security vulnerabilities and allegations of abuse that have been raised.”
US Soccer Suspends Riley’s Coaching License Following .’s Report the athletec.
“When it comes to misconduct in football,” FIFA said, “we would like to reiterate that FIFA’s position is clear: anyone found guilty of misconduct and abuse in football will be brought to justice, punished and the game will be removed.
“FIFA takes any allegation of misconduct reported to it very seriously and will continue to cooperate with the relevant national and international authorities on any allegation or report made in confidence to FIFA about abuse or misconduct in football.”
Earlier on Friday, NWSL Commissioner Lisa Baird said she “assumed full responsibility for the role I played” and that the decision to cancel the games this weekend was made with the players’ association.
The NWSL announces an update regarding this weekend’s games
— Women’s National Football League (@NWSL) October 1, 2021
Well-known US internationals, including Megan Rapinoe and Alex Morgan, have claimed that previous allegations against Riley had not been properly investigated and that the league failed to protect its own players.
“I’m sorry for the pain so many feel,” Baird said in a statement.
“We recognize that trauma and have decided not to take to the field this weekend to give everyone some space to think. Business as usual is not our concern at the moment.
“Our whole league has a lot to heal and our players deserve so much better.
“We made this decision in collaboration with our players’ association and this break will be the first step as we work collectively to transform the culture of this league, something that should have happened a long time ago.”
Riley led the Courage to NWSL Championship titles in 2018 and 2019.