After FIFA opened an inquiry into what it referred to as a “allegation of misconduct,” the Zambian Football Association issued a statement on Friday expressing “surprise” at the allegations that its women’s coach mistreated a member of the team competing in the current World Cup.
The Zambian coach Bruce Mwape is allegedly accused of caressing a player’s breasts after a training session, as stated in an article published in the publication The Guardian.
“We can confirm that a complaint has been received in relation to the Zambian women’s national team and this is currently being investigated,” a FIFA representative stated, without elaborating on the nature of the allegation. “We can confirm that a complaint has been received in relation to the Zambian women’s national team.”
“Any allegation of misconduct is taken extremely seriously by FIFA, and we have a clear process in place for anyone involved in football who wants to report an incident,” FIFA said.
The tournament in Australia and New Zealand ended for Zambia as they were eliminated in the group stage, and they have since returned home.
Allegations of inappropriate behavior have been leveled against the women’s football organization in Zambia.
The Football Association of Zambia initiated an inquiry after improper conduct allegations were brought to light on the internet in the previous year.
It is unclear what the results of the investigation were or if any action was taken as a result.
Mwape was approached many times about the charges during press conferences that took place during the World Cup. He responded by calling them “fake” and brushing off suggestions that he should resign from his position.
“What exactly are you referring to?” “I would like to know because there is no way that I can retire without a reason,” he said to the press. “I would like to know.”
“Perhaps the reason you believe what you do is because of what you have read in the media or in the press, but the truth of the matter should actually come out so that people aren’t just basing their beliefs on rumors.”
During the World Cup, the New Zealand Police said that they “were made aware of an alleged incident.” However, after conducting preliminary investigations, they determined that “no further action was required to be taken.”
The Football Association of Zambia denied knowledge of any recent complaint from players or its traveling delegation, despite the participation of both the police and FIFA in the incident.
The organization issued a statement in which it claimed that it was “surprising for us to hear of such alleged misconduct by the coach.” The statement also noted that the organization had required “the highest standards of integrity and transparency” from both the players and the staff.
The football organization also said that all training sessions had been videotaped by both its own media team and a crew from FIFA, and that it had found no evidence to suggest that any incident had occurred during the training sessions.
The statement continued by saying that disciplinary action will be taken “once we are in receipt of an official complaint or presented with evidence.”
In recent years, there has been a string of sexual assault allegations that have rocked the world of women’s football, most notably in Gabon, Haiti, the United States of America, and Afghanistan.
This year, FIFA amended its Code of Ethics to include stricter disciplinary procedures for players found guilty of sexual assault or harassment.
In addition, it requires “member associations and confederations to notify FIFA of any decisions rendered on sexual abuse” and removes the 10-year statute of limitations that previously applied to the prosecution of sexual offenses.
FIFA emphasized on Friday that any complaints of misconduct are treated with the utmost discretion and confidentiality.
“When culpability is proven, FIFA imposes the harshest possible punishments, which may include banning individuals from the game for the rest of their lives. Our previous performance is evidence of this,” it said.
Before winning their first-ever World Cup match against Costa Rica by a score of 3-1, Zambia were victorious in devastating losses at the hands of Spain and Japan.