The Zambia’s Women’s World Cup coach has been accused of coercing players into having s3x with him if they want to keep their place in the team.
Bruce Mwape, 63, the head coach of the Zambia team preparing to make its debut at the Women’s World Cup, was accused of sexual misconduct by one of his stars and the case was referred to world body FIFA last year for investigation, according to a report in The Guardian newspaper.
The report claims that other Zambian coaches and officials were also accused of sexual misconduct and investigated, including the Under 17s girls’ team coach.
One female player, who did not want to be named, told The Guardian: ‘If he [Mwape] wants to sleep with someone, you have to say yes.
‘It’s normal that the coach sleeps with the players in our team.’
Zambia football association president Andrew Kamanga confirmed on Sunday that allegations of sexual misconduct were referred to FIFA and Zambian police last year and said it was ‘an old story.’
Kamanga didn’t name any of the people facing allegations of wrongdoing.
In line with protocol, FIFA said its independent ethics committee would not comment on whether or not there was an investigation underway.
Zambia’s FA launched its own investigation last year but also didn’t name any officials, coaches, or players involved at the time. The Zambian association said when it made the announcement in September that it was taking the allegations seriously.
But The Guardian quoted an anonymous source as saying that the Zambian association was ‘turning a blind eye’ to the allegations because of the recent success of its women’s team under Mwape.
Zambia qualified for the Tokyo Olympics in 2021 and the World Cup in Australia and New Zealand, which starts this month.