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FIFA, CONMEBOL condemn sexual abuse of Colombian women


Bogota (AFP) – World football’s governing body FIFA and CONMEBOL, South America’s top body, hit out on Tuesday at accusations of sexual abuse and harassment in Colombian women’s football.

The two bodies said in a joint statement, published by the Colombian Football Federation (FCF), that they “energetically condemn the cases of sexual and professional abuse, violence and/or the violation of women and children’s rights.”

FIFA and CONMEBOL also offered “support” to the FCF to help sanction the alleged offences and prevent further cases.

An under-17 national team player, who cannot be named for legal reasons, has accused one member of the coaching staff of sexual abuse from an incident in January 2018.

The under-17 team’s former physio Carolina Rozo also claims the team’s former coach Didier Luna tried to kiss players and touch their bottoms.

She said the players kept silent for fear of being kicked off the team.

Rozo claims that having rejected Luna’s advances in December 2017 she suffered professional retaliation that caused her depression.

The alleged offences took place at the FCF training facility in Bogota during preparation for the women’s under-17 World Cup. Luna denies all the allegations.

Top Colombian male players James Rodriguez and Radamel Falcao expressed their solidarity with the women players on Tuesday and demanded an investigation.

The allegations were made in an article published on February 21 by the La Liga del Silencio (the league of silence) media group.

The public prosecutor is investigating the allegations.

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