Players of the Venezuelan Women’s National Soccer Team Break Silence About Harassment

Venezuelan Women’s National Soccer Team BELatina Latinx
Photo courtesy of washingtonpost.com

The Venezuelan women’s national soccer team players broke their silence and denounced their former coach, Kenneth Zseremeta, for psychological, physical, and sexual abuse.

Deyna Castellanos, Lourdes Moreno, Gabriela García, among other representatives of the Venezuelan national team, made public a letter where they disclosed in detail the accusations to the 55-year-old coach who was in charge of the Venezuelan youth team from 2013 to 2017.

“We, the players of the Venezuelan national team, from different processes, have decided to break the silence to prevent situations of physical, psychological and sexual abuse and harassment caused by the coach from taking more victims,” said the players in a letter published by Deyna Castellanos, player of Atletico Madrid, women’s on her Twitter and Instagram accounts.

Zseremeta would have asked the players recurring questions about their intimacy, sexual, even to minors, refers the letter. Other forms of “constant harassment” reportedly included phone calls or “inappropriate invitations,” massages, and “out-of-context gifts.”

Similarly, the players claimed that the technical director allegedly sexually abused a 14-year-old player until his dismissal in 2017.

To the players from the LGBTQ+ community, the coach would have constantly questioned them about their orientation.

“There were threats and manipulations of telling the players’ parents about their sexual orientation if they did not have the discipline or perform as they should,” the players stated.

The letter from the Venezuelan women’s soccer team comes a week after the coach of a top U.S. soccer league club, Paul Riley, was fired after two players accused him of sexual harassment.

As reported by the Associated Press, FIFA opened an investigation into the case, which also led to the resignation of Lisa Baird, commissioner of the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL).