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FAI offer support to Ireland women’s manager Vera Pauw after report is published

The Yates Report linked Pauw to criticism of players’ weight and exercise routines whilst she was head coach of Houston Dash in 2018.

Republic of Ireland head coach Vera Pauw© PA

Sports deskSunday World

The Football Association of Ireland has backed women’s manager Vera Pauw after she was named in a report in the US detailing allegations of abuse and mistreatment of players at several clubs.

The Yates Report linked Pauw to criticism of players’ weight and exercise routines whilst she was head coach of Houston Dash in 2018.

Earlier, the club released a statement apologising to past and present players whom it said were “subject to misconduct” by two coaches, including Pauw.

According to the report, Pauw has provided a written denial of the allegations and said she had never remarked on a player’s weight.

Her case was discussed by the FAI board before Thursday's reconvened AGM of the association, and senior officials gave Pauw their full backing.

"The fact is that Vera denies and refutes the allegations," FAI chairman Roy Barrett said after the AGM.

Asked if the matter was closed as far as the FAI were concerned, Barrett said: "As it stands, yes. Vera has strong views on this. Doubtless you’ll hear from Vera on this.

"If someone makes allegations which you refute and it's put out in a report, man of the contents of that report are quite shocking, serious accusations levelled against certain people, in Vera's case she left her job in 2018, there was no sense of any issues relating to Vera or her behaviour unlike other people in the report it's an unfair position to put someone in."

FAI CEO Jonathan Hill is due to meet Pauw for a standard meeting at FAI HQ on Friday and he said the topic will be up for debate but stressed that Pauw had his support.

"I’ll have the conversation with Vera in full and she can give her version of the events. We will then decide what we’ll do after the meeting.

"I want to have a face to face conversation where we can go into the full detail of it. I know that Vera wants to put her full side of the story and we want to ensure we have time to do that," Hill said.

"We discussed the issue at length at the board tonight. Remember that the 128-page report was only made public late last night. We are very aware of what has been written and as a board we discussed them, we discussed them in the context of our own process and our own procedures and in the context of the wider Irish game.

"We can be certain as a board and an Association that we could address issues were they to happen in our jurisdiction. These are things that happened some considerable time ago, we are not belittling them at all, but we will need some time to review them," he said.

Barrett said that Pauw was within her rights not to meet the investigators, as the report's authors noted what they saw as her lack of engagement.

"She had no obligation to co-operate or meet with any of the investigation team, given its legal status," Barrett stated.

"What it [report] says is that she declined to be interviewed but provided a written statement on a number of the allegations. But remember what this was. This was an investigation by the league and the professional players' association carried out by two law firms. It was open to anybody to participate or not in that process, they were not legally obliged to do so.

"As it relates to the report, most of which I have read at this point, and when you read it, Vera did supply a written statement. Allegations were made, she has refuted those allegations.

"The investigators have not opined one way or the other on those allegations, they are just stated as a fact. When you see the report and look at how they have dealt with some of the other pretty horrific circumstances, they had a view, and had a view on the credibility of the people being interviewed or not.

"Vera participated in her own way, she provided a statement and refutes the allegations. That is her position and we support her on that."

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