Zambia’s national team manager, Bruce Mwape, is facing an investigation by FIFA following allegations of inappropriate behavior during the Women’s World Cup. A complaint was filed with the world football governing body after Zambia secured their first-ever World Cup victory with a 3-1 win over Costa Rica on Monday (July 31).
The incident in question reportedly occurred after a training session on July 28. According to sources close to the squad, several players witnessed Mwape allegedly rubbing his hands over the chest of one of their teammates.
Although those who saw the incident considered reporting it immediately, they decided to wait until after their campaign had concluded, fearing that they might be excluded from future selections. Zambia had already been eliminated from the tournament after suffering successive 5-0 defeats against Japan and Spain.
Prior to the Women’s World Cup, Mwape was also the subject of sexual misconduct allegations, which he vehemently denied. A player, who wished to remain anonymous, had spoken to The Guardian last month, claiming that it was considered normal for the coach to be involved with players romantically.
Mwape was questioned about the previous allegations before Zambia’s second group game, but FIFA’s media officer restricted the questioning to football-related matters only.
In response to the new claim, a FIFA spokesperson stated, “FIFA takes any allegation of misconduct extremely seriously and has a clear process in place for anyone in football who wants to report an incident.” The governing body confirmed that a complaint had been received and that an investigation was underway, with the details being kept confidential.
FIFA encourages anyone who wishes to report allegations or information related to abuse in football to use their confidential reporting platform, promising to handle all information with the strictest confidentiality. The spokesperson emphasized that FIFA would take strong actions, including lifetime bans, for anyone found guilty of misconduct.
As the investigation progresses, FIFA aims to ensure the safety and support of those who come forward as witnesses in the judicial cases. The organization reaffirmed its commitment to addressing misconduct and taking decisive action to maintain the integrity of the sport.
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