Whitecaps fan group calls for independent investigation into allegations of abuse

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – A Whitecaps fan group is speaking out in support of former women’s team players who say a former coach was abusive while he was with the club and the national team.

Curva Collective is calling for an independent investigation into what happened in 2008 and believes any findings should be made public. Some members of that group are not going to matches due to this issue.

“The limited responses from the Vancouver Whitecaps and Canada Soccer to date are unacceptable,” Curva Collective said in a statement.

The group wants to see Canada Soccer and the Whitecaps bring in “formal harassment policies using best practices that are in line with other elite sports organizations.”

RELATED: Whitecaps contact police following abuse accusations

Claims of abuse and inappropriate behaviour regarding the former coach were first publicly brought forward in February by former Whitecaps player Ciara McCormack. More recently, three former female members of the U-20 Canadian national team claiming to represent 12 players released further claims of inappropriate behaviour.

The latter include the suggestion the coach touched at least one player inappropriately, held a private meeting with a player in his hotel room, and sent texts with sexual innuendo to players.

That coach was also in charge of the Canadian U-20 women’s team at the time.

The Whitecaps and Canada Soccer have declined interviews since the initial accusations were made public.

RELATED: Former Whitecaps women’s player claims abuse, calls for system overhaul

However, the Whitecaps organization has said the club is “concerned there may be new information related to this matter that did not come forward in 2008 or since,” and says it has contacted the police.

This week, NEWS 1130 contacted the coach in question. He has not responded to our request for an interview. In recent years, he has been coaching girls teams in the White-Rock South Surrey area. He has since been suspended by Coastal FC.

The coach in question has not been criminally charged, and the women’s claims against him have not been tested in court.

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