US soccer star Megan Rapinoe has called on soccer authorities to use “horrific” findings of systematic sexual abuse and misconduct in American football for change. The report, released earlier this week, details several allegations of mistreatment by coaches of teams in the Major League Soccer Women’s League (NWSL).
“It’s horrific,” Rapinoe said on Thursday, on the eve of a training match between world champions United States against European champion England at Wembley. “Even if you know a little, it’s shocking to read it in black and white.”
“It’s very difficult for the players,” Rapinoe said. “Some of them played for those clubs where it happened and maybe they were mistreated in some way. It can be painful again.” “It’s very difficult for everyone in women’s sport. Hopefully that will happen when we make sure that things like this never happen again.”
Rapinoe wants FIFA and the national football associations to put in place stricter and better specific guidelines that will ensure better protection for women in the future. “They haven’t protected the players in all those years,” the US captain said. “Every year someone reports on several coaches.”
Rapinoe doesn’t care whether it’s from FIFA or from the federations, as long as there is a reporting system that has some influence. “This is a huge task, of course, as many of these federations do not have a good financial base. From the point of view of FIFA, as the custodians of the sport, the federation has a responsibility to do everything in its power to ensure that players feel safe.”
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