October 4 (WNN) — US Soccer said it has hired former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates to lead an independent investigation into allegations of sexual abuse of players by coaches in the National Women’s Soccer League.
In a statement tweeted on Sunday evening, US Soccer said that Yates’ investigation “will begin immediately and he will be given full autonomy, access and necessary resources to adhere to the facts and evidence wherever he may lead.”
“US Soccer takes its responsibility seriously to vigorously investigate reported abhorrent conduct, gain a full and clear understanding of the factors that allowed this to occur, and take meaningful steps to prevent this from happening in the future. “
Yates, a Democrat, had served in the Justice Department for nearly three decades and was acting attorney general during the early days of the Trump administration and deputy attorney general under the Obama administration.
“He has extensive experience conducting complex and highly sensitive investigations,” US Soccer said.
US Soccer announced It will launch an investigation on Saturday, explaining that it played “a major role” in founding the NWSL in 2013 and provided it with administrative support until last year while financially backing it.
The football federation issued the statement in the wake of a report published by The Athletic late last month that accused North Carolina Courage coach Paul Riley of having sex with some of their players and making inappropriate comments about their weight and sexual orientation. was alleged.
Courage has since fired the relay and over the weekend NWSL games were postponed to give players and coaches “space to reflect”.
“Business as usual is not our concern right now,” NWSL commissioner Lisa Baird said in a statement Friday the same day. said It accepted his resignation.
Hours before US Soccer announced the hiring of Yates on Sunday, the NWSL’s board of governors said it hired law firm Covington & Burling to oversee an investigation into the allegations and make recommendations for improvement. Is. It said Amanda Kramer, a former assistant US attorney at the US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, would lead the investigation.
Following Baird’s resignation, an executive committee has also been formed to oversee the league’s front office operations.
“We have suffered so many players playing the game they love, and we are deeply sorry,” three executive committee members Amanda Duffy, Angie Long and Sophie Sauvage said in a statement. “We understand that we must make a significant systemic and cultural change and gain the trust of both, to address the issues necessary for NWSL players and their fans to become the type of league they deserve.”
The allegations prompted retired defender Christie Pierce Rampon postpone it Saturday’s inductee into the National Soccer Hall of Fame until next year “when we can properly celebrate all-female football.”