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Zambia's Women Football Team Coach Charged For Sexual Assault

Mwape is facing allegations of touching the breasts of one of his players with his hands just two days prior to the team's victory in their inaugural match.

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Nikita Gupta
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Mwape has denied all allegations against him. Image Credits: Getty Images.

As the FIFA Women's World Cup 2023 continues in full swing, the event has encountered a major setback.
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A sexual harassment controversy involving Bruce Mwape, the Zambia coach, has come to light. The coach leading Zambia's women's soccer team is under investigation for accusations of sexual misconduct.

What Are The Charges?

Mwape is facing allegations of touching the breasts of one of his players with his hands just two days prior to the team's victory in their inaugural match.

One anonymous player shared with The Guardian, "If Mwape desires to be intimate with someone, the player must comply. It's customary for the coach to have relations with the players on our team."

FIFA Takes Action

Earlier today, the global governing body FIFA announced its investigation into a misconduct complaint concerning the Zambian women's team. FIFA affirmed its commitment to imposing severe penalties should the allegations be substantiated.

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A FIFA spokesperson said, "We can verify that we have received a complaint involving the Zambian women's national team, and a thorough investigation is presently underway." He further stated, "FIFA treats every accusation of misconduct with the utmost gravity and maintains a well-defined protocol for individuals within the football community to report such incidents."

The Accused Speaks Out

Mwape refuted the allegations, labelling them as "fake," and rejected the idea that he should step down. Prior to their match against Spain, in which Zambia suffered a 5-0 defeat, he inquired, "What specific factors are impacting the team's situation?" when pressed about the matter.

He further said that "There's no reason for him to retire without a valid cause. Perhaps your rationale is based on the information you've gathered from the media or the press, but the actual truth should be revealed, rather than relying solely on rumours."

Who Is Bruce Mwape?

In May 2018, Mwape took on the role of head coach for the Zambia women's national team, succeeding Albert Kachinga, who made a return to club football. Guided by his coaching, Zambia earned a spot in the 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup.

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Due to the team's exceptional performances across several events, the allegations against Mwape have been ignored by the Football Association of Zambia (FAZ).

Earlier this year, FIFA strengthened its protocols for handling cases of sexual assault or harassment in an updated Code of Ethics. The revision eliminated the 10-year timeframe within which sexual offences could be prosecuted and mandated member associations and confederations to inform FIFA about any rulings made regarding sexual abuse.


Suggested reading: Men In Power Fail To Support Women's Struggle Against Sexual Violence

 

Bruce Mwape Zambia Zambia Women Football FIFA
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