The US Soccer Federation on Monday announced a “Safe Soccer” program that will require extensive scrutiny of individuals involved in the sport, while continuing to investigate misconduct by coaches in the country’s women’s leagues.
The “Safe Soccer” program, which was announced on Monday, seeks to restructure the criteria for participation in soccer from the youth level to the professional leagues. This will include security training, background checks and annual reports.
Its application will start with a pilot program involving federation employees, but will eventually be extended to “all participants in the football ecosystem”, the federation announced. This process is believed to take years.
“We want to make sure that we remove bad actors from the game. But we also want to make sure that we encourage, inspire and reward the people who are doing the right thing.”
Both the federation and the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) have vowed to implement the recommendations of two scathing reports on systemic abuse and misconduct in the country’s top professional league.
The federation hired former Attorney General Sally Q. published their results of the investigation led by Yates. Another report ordered by the NWSL and its players union was published in December. Both are looking to expand and adopt measures to ensure the safety of players in the new year.
Mana Shim and Sinead Farrelly, both NWSL players, publicly accused coach Paul Riley of sexual harassment and coercion in 2021. Riley denied the allegations.