The North Carolina Courage football club coach was fired from his job effective immediately after the sexual assault allegations.
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North Carolina Courage is a club in the NWSL, the premier women’s soccer league in the United States.
The coach’s name is Paul Riley, a 58-year-old Englishman, and in a press release the club assures that he has been fired as a result of “very serious accusations.”
It is former players who have accused Paul Riley of sexual abuse, he writes The athletic.
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Also, they write that it will be about more teams and more leagues since 2010.
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Sinead Farrelly played for Riley on three different teams since 2011. She tells The Athletic that Riley often sat next to her at a bar where she regularly took the team, eventually starting to share deeply personal information with him.
Farrelly felt he forced her to have sex with him in his hotel room after their final cup loss in 2011.
She also claims that this continued until the next season and when she later played for another team that Riley coached.
Another player who has brought charges against Riley is Meleana Shim. Among other things, the women say they both ended up in Riley’s hotel room after a night on the town. They claim, among other things, that Riley pressured them into kissing so the team would avoid a tough race session that week.
In a statement to The Athletic, Riley denies wrongdoing and claims that most of the allegations are false:
– I have never had sexual intercourse nor have I been sexually close to these players.
The women also claim that Riley put pressure on the teams’ lifestyle with extensive alcohol use. In the statement to The Athletic, Riley also assures that he has not taken the players out for a drink.
Star player Alex Morgan writes on Twitter that she supports the two women. She believes the league should step in. Like other professional team leagues in the US, women’s soccer is also in a separate organization, not organized by the Soccer Association, as in Norway.
Athletic writes that Meleana Shim in 2015, with the help of Morgan, sent a complaint to the owner and human resources manager of her then club, Portland Thorns. However, the hiring manager told him that he had no legal case as he was unable to present evidence.
The revelations have sparked strong reactions, with many believing that it is time for the women’s soccer league to take action.
– What happens in this league is nauseating, writes Portland Thorns star Sophia Smith. Twitter.
– As a young gamer, it’s scary never knowing who is looking for you or who you can trust. The absolute minimum is that the league protects its players, and they can’t even do it.
Superstar Megan Rapinoe also comes with strong support:
The Portland Thorns wrote on Twitter that they took the warnings seriously in 2015 and conducted an external investigation, but did not find that any illegal acts had been committed.