Mark Parsons, the national coach of Dutch footballers, is shocked by all that has been revealed about cross-border behavior in women’s football. In addition to his job at Orange, the 35-year-old Parsons also continues to serve as head coach at the Portland Thorns of America. The coach who succeeded him there in 2015, Paul Riley, was accused of sexual assault by former club players last week.
“It was only after I was appointed that it was explained to me that an incident had occurred and an investigation resulted in the coach being fired and not allowed to work at the club again,” Parsons said. “This was a topic that I could not get into and could not get more of. The nature of the incident was not explained in more detail.”
It’s horrific for our sport and especially for the victims
According to a spokesperson, KNVB was unaware when it came to Parsons earlier this year looking for a successor to Sarina Wiegman. The Englishman started after the Olympics, but will also finish the season in the US with the Portland Thorns. Parsons will focus entirely on “lionesses” from the end of November. In his final days in Portland, the national coach faced a scandal in the run-up to his debut there.
“Prior to Mark’s appointment to KNVB, this matter was not discussed because it was not known to both parties,” the spokesperson said. “We mainly talked about technical matters of football, as is the norm when appointing a national coach.”
Former footballers Snead Farrelly and Miliana Shim revealed in the magazine last week the athlete They were abused by Riley. The Englishman, who denies the allegations, was expelled by his club, North Carolina Courage, after the allegations were made.
After Farrelly and Shem, more footballers from the United States, Australia and Venezuela came out with stories of aggressive behavior. This led to the departure of board chairperson Lisa Bird in the US NWSL competition, who would have ignored signs of abuse for years. The Portland Thorns, Parsons FC, has suspended football director Gavin Wilkinson pending the results of an outside investigation into the case.
“Both Mark Parsons and KNVB are shocked by the stories about cross-border behavior in international women’s football,” a spokeswoman said. “It is horrific for our sport and especially for the victims.” KNVB says it has not received any reports from the sexual harassment hotline in response to the international disclosure.
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