US Soccer has released the full findings of a “heartbreaking and deeply troubling” investigation into allegations of historic abusive behaviour and sexual misconduct in the women’s game in the United States.
An independent investigation by lawyer Sally Yates was launched last year by the governing body following complaints against North Carolina Courage coach Paul Riley.
Englishman Riley, who denies the accusations, was sacked by Courage last October while the National Women’s Soccer League, US Soccer and FIFA launched investigations.
US Soccer president and former US international Cindy Parlow Cone said in a statement on her organisation’s website: “This investigation’s findings are heartbreaking and deeply troubling.
“The abuse described is inexcusable and has no place on any playing field, in any training facility or workplace.
“As the national governing body for our sport, US Soccer is fully committed to doing everything in its power to ensure that all players – at all levels – have a safe and respectful place to learn, grow and compete.
“We are taking the immediate action that we can today, and will convene leaders in soccer at all levels across the country to collaborate on the recommendations so we can create meaningful, long-lasting change throughout the soccer ecosystem.”
The NWSL’s probe is ongoing but it said it will immediately review the Yates Report and promised “systemic reform”.
“We recognise the anxiety and mental strain that these pending investigations have caused and the trauma that many – including players and staff – are having to relive,” the league said in a statement.
“We know that we must learn from and take responsibility for the painful lessons of the past in order to move the league into a better future.
“The findings and recommendations from both reports will be critical to informing and implementing systemic reform and ensuring that the NWSL is a league where players are supported, on and off the pitch, with safe and professional environments to train and compete.”