US Women’s Soccer League Takes Action: Lifetime Ban for Coaches in Response to Abuse and Misconduct

2023-01-10 08:00:00

The US league has cracked down.

The National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) suspended four soccer coaches permanently on Monday (local time) and announced penalties against officials and clubs. With the disciplinary measures, the US professional league of soccer players is reacting to investigations that had been carried out, among other things, for sexual abuse, abuse of power and psychological manipulation.

Lifetime ban for 4 US coaches!

The NWSL and its players’ union announced in December the findings of an investigation they had commissioned, which found “widespread misconduct” against women players dating back to the league’s early days almost a decade ago. Bad: These were not isolated cases.

The result: Former coaches Paul Riley (North Carolina), Rory Dames (Chicago Red Stars) and Richie Burke (Washington Spirit) have now received a lifetime coaching ban from the NWSL, as has coach Christy Holly (Racing Louisville). Also, ex-Coach Craig Harrington (Utah Royals) and former Gotham FC (New Jersey) manager Alyse LaHue have been banned from working in the NWSL for two years.

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The investigation follows allegations of harassment and sexual assault made by two former players against Paul Riley. Riley, who has denied all allegations, was one of five NWSL coaches who were either fired or resigned in 2021 over allegations.

Several teams were fined Monday: the Chicago Red Stars will be fined $1.5 million, the Portland Thorns $1 million, Racing Louisville $200,000 and the North Carolina Courage $100,000 . Seattle Reign FC, where superstar Megan Rapinoe plays, and Gotham have both been fined $50,000.

“The league will continue to prioritize the implementation and improvement of policies, programs and systems that put the health and safety of our players first,” said NWSL executive director Jessica Berman. Her predecessor Lisa Baird resigned when allegations by players became public and attracted increasing attention.

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