Football Australia is investigating treatment of female players after legend’s sexual abuse allegations

Football Australia is investigating treatment of female players after legend’s sexual abuse allegations

Football Australia has announced an independent investigation into its treatment of female footballers after Matildas legend Lisa De Vanna made allegations of sexual abuse during her career.

The Vanna has said she has engaged in sexual harassment, indecent assault, assault and bullying by senior players until 2001 when she was a member of the Young Matildas.

“I was pulled down from behind and humiliated by some of my teammates. I fought myself kicking and screaming from the floor. They thought it was funny,” De Vanna told News Corp.

“I was just a young kid from Perth, I didn’t know any different. I lost my shit and wanted to hit them.”

The Vanna also detailed incidents of sexual harassment that she believes took place during a shower and involved unwanted advances from other players.

Football Australia said it had received a direct complaint from De Vanna but that some of her concerns raised from the News Corp interview were not addressed.

“While it is not appropriate to discuss individual cases, we met Lisa De Vanna and heard her grievances, and we can confirm that the specific allegations made public at that meeting were not brought to our attention,” a statement said. from Football Australia.

“We don’t know what steps our predecessor, Soccer Australia, took in 2001. In the event Lisa chooses to make a formal complaint through the appropriate channels, we will be able to investigate and, where appropriate, act accordingly.

“Australian football takes a zero-tolerance approach to any behavior that conflicts with the norms and values ​​expected of people involved in the game.

“We therefore encourage everyone to raise their concerns through Football Australia’s official complaints procedure under the Member Protection Framework, knowing that such matters are taken seriously and are thoroughly investigated.

“In addition to Football Australia’s formal complaint handling protocols, we have also contacted Sport Integrity Australia (SIA) to develop an additional process for independently investigating allegations of a historic nature involving former players and staff.”

De Vanna played 150 games for Australia, scoring 47 goals and playing in four World Cups.

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