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The National Women’s Soccer League announced that matches scheduled for this weekend will not be played and the league’s commissioner has since resigned.
League commissioner Lisa Baird’s resignation on Friday follows the firing of two NWSL coaches in the span of a week after both faced abuse allegations, the Post reports. Former Washington Spirit coach Richie Burke was fired Tuesday following a league investigation into allegations of verbal and emotional abuse.
On Thursday, North Carolina Courage coach Paul Riley was fired following a distressing account of numerous allegations of sexual coercion published in The Athletic.
Baird had been told of some of the allegations against Riley early this year, but The Athletic reports she declined a request from a player Riley allegedly abused to investigate him.
The NWSL players association said in a statement they called on the league to not hold the games and to give them time to cope with the revelations.
“This was not an easy decision, as there is nothing we love more than playing for our fans,” the players’ union said in a statement Friday. “… We also recognize, however, that mental health struggles are real.” The union said the NWSL had “worked overnight” to postpone the games.
The NWSL said in a statement that Riley had been fired and no games would be played.
FIFA and the U.S. Soccer Federation announced they were opening investigations into Riley’s abuse on Friday. The Post reports the U.S. Soccer managed the NWSL at the time of the original allegations against Riley.
The Post reports four NWSL teams have seen their male coaches leave after allegations of misconduct this summer.
Check back with OutKick for updates.
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