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The Australian football world has responded to allegations by Matildas legend Lisa De Vanna about the sport’s toxic culture.
The Australian football community has responded to accusations made by former Matildas star Lisa De Vanna about professional-level sports culture.
Speak with The Daily Telegraph, De Vanna claimed she experienced bullying and sexual harassment during a career in which she represented Australia 150 times.
Former W-League player Rhali Dobson also made allegations about a toxic culture at the highest level of women’s football in Australia.
Matildas veteran Elise Kellond-Knight appeared to cast doubt on De Vanna’s allegations, writing on Twitter: “As someone who has been on the national team for over a decade, I’m not sure.”
De Vanna replied on social media, writing, “Which part KK???”
In response to the story detailing her accusations, De Vanna tweeted, “Some things are bigger than the game!”
Many in Australian football praised De Vanna for speaking out.
Commentator and host Adam Peacock called it a “big, big story”, while former football journalist Ray Gatt tweeted: “Good on you @lisadevanna11 for having the courage to speak up.”
Sports reporter Daniel Garb wrote: “A dark side of Australian football that was discussed privately but no one dared to open it up publicly. Well done @lisadevanna11. This has to stop.”
Football writer Bonita Mersiades added: “Congratulations to @lisadevanna11 and others for speaking out. I know how difficult it is – not on this subject, but on issues where the football officials are constantly failing us.”
Football Australia responded to the allegations by telling The Daily Telegraph it had already been in contact with De Vanna and would investigate whether she would file a formal complaint “through the appropriate channels”.
Football writer Elia Santoro tweeted: “As great as it is that the FA is finally doing something, culture also means supporting the truth when it comes to someone brave enough to cast their vote and not diminish their story by trying their lack of action over the years.
“Abuse is abuse, be it male or female, or the sport, or in society. Very brave & confrontational interview of the women who spoke out. By exposing it, the governing bodies can deal with it and hopefully create a safe environment for everyone.”
De Vanna’s explosive accusations come after she took to social media to respond to comments from American superstar Megan Rapinoe following allegations of sexual misconduct that have rocked American women’s football.
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