LOS ANGELES (CBSLA/AP) – The National Women’s Soccer League will not play any games that were scheduled for this weekend as it’s dealing with fallout from allegations of sexual harassment and misconduct against former North Carolina Courage coach Paul Riley.
Riley was terminated by the NWSL club on Thursday after multiple reports emerged claiming sexual coercion and inappropriate comments about players’ weight and sexual orientation. He is accused of these actions by former players from previous teams that Riley coached, according to The Athletic. The allegations have sparked a wave of outcry and condemnation by players all over the league, which led to the league’s decision to call of this weekend’s games.READ MORE: FDA Advisory Panel Recommends Emergency Use Authorization For Johnson & Johnson Booster
In a statement, the North Carolina Courage says it “supports the players who come forward and commend them for bravely sharing their stories.”
U.S. Soccer, which announced it is conducting an investigation into the allegations, suspended Riley’s coaching license Thursday after The Athletic published claims of abuse made by former NWSL players Sinead Farrelly and Mana Shim.
FIFA told The Associated Press it was “deeply concerned” by the case and will now be seeking further details from American soccer authorities about the issues raised.READ MORE: Some Parent Groups Proposing Monday 'Sit-Outs' At Schools To Protest Against Vaccine Mandates
“Due to the severity and seriousness of the allegations being made by players, we can confirm that FIFA’s judicial bodies are actively looking into the matter and have opened a preliminary investigation,” FIFA said in a statement to the AP. “As part of this, FIFA will be reaching out to the respective parties, including US Soccer and NWSL, for further information about the various safeguarding concerns and allegations of abuse that have been raised.”
On Friday the NWSL announced it accepted commissioner Lisa Baird’s resignation, who held the position for 19 months.
— National Women’s Soccer League (@NWSL) October 2, 2021
The alleged harassment of Farrelly started in 2011 when she was a player with the Philadelphia Independence of the now-defunct Women’s Professional Soccer league.
She told the website the harassment continued when Farrelly was with the Portland Thorns. Shim, a former Thorns player, also allegedly experienced harassment. The Thorns said Thursday that the team investigated claims about Riley and passed those on to the league when he was dismissed.
Riley told The Athletic the allegations were “completely untrue.”MORE NEWS: Section Of MacArthur Park To Close To Begin Repairs, Maintenance Work
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