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FIFA investigate coach over sexual assault claims

Federation of International Football Association (FIFA), is examining a formal complaint against, Zambia’s head coach, Bruce Mwape, of an alleged sexual assault against a player during the Women’s World Cup.

Mwape is accused of rubbing his hands over the chest of one of his players during a training session in New Zealand on 29 July.

“A complaint has been received,” a FIFA spokesperson said.

But the Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) said “it has not received any such complaint” and it is a “surprise.”

The reported occurrence supposedly happened during a training session, just two days before Zambia’s last group match against Costa Rica, where Zambia secured a 3-1 victory, marking their first-ever World Cup win.

FIFA’s spokesperson added: “FIFA takes any allegation of misconduct extremely seriously and has a clear process in place for anyone in football who wants to report an incident.”

Zambia have returned home, having been eliminated after finishing third in Group C.

“All the training sessions for the Copper Queens [Zambia] were filmed by the FAZ media team and offers no such footage,” the FAZ said.

“Additionally, a FIFA film crew attached to the Zambian team at the World Cup was present at all training sessions.

“We, however, wish to reassure the public that FAZ maintains the highest standards of integrity and transparency and always demands unwavering ethical conduct of the players and officials on and off the field of play.

“We therefore would not hesitate to take disciplinary measures and act on any misconduct once we are in receipt of an official complaint or when presented with evidence pertaining to an alleged incident.”

“We were made aware of an alleged incident and after making initial enquiries, no further action was required to be taken”, a New Zealand police spokesperson said.

Last year, there were sexual abuse accusations against Mwape, who assumed leadership in 2018, which surfaced on social media. The Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) mentioned that while no official complaint had been received, they initiated an inquiry, acknowledging the gravity of the allegations and taking them seriously.

Throughout the World Cup, Mwape faced numerous inquiries regarding those accusations, but he consistently refuted any wrongdoing, insisting they were baseless and untrue.

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