Rio Ave players accuse former coach of sexual harassment

The coach will have exchanged intimate messages with several young women between the ages of 18 and 20 from the Rio Ave women’s squad, a situation denied by the coach, who ended up leaving the club and is now coaching Famalicão, according to this Thursday’s Público newspaper. fair.

The morning writes that the messages will have started right in the 2020-21 pre-season, with the arrival of Miguel Afonso to guide the newly formed senior women’s football team at Rio Ave.

One of the athletes tells that she shared the situation with her parents and that, after having informed the coach about it, she began to feel harmed, ending up not being called up for the first official game of the season and being relegated to the ranks of formation of the River Ave.

In another situation, writes the newspaper, the coach was confronted by the boyfriend of one of the players targeted by these messages, but Miguel Afonso “said it was a joke and apologized”.

Público says that there are “many written and oral messages exchanged between Miguel Afonso and some of the players involved” and that the coach, contacted by the newspaper, refused to comment, saying only: “I don’t know where they want to go with this and what kind of conversations are these”.

diverse reactions

The newspaper also mentions that Miguel Afonso’s promotion to a club in the first national division of women’s football “surprised many players and other sports agents” who were aware of the situation and adds that Famalicão’s management was informed, but “it did nothing until at the moment”.

He underlines that the president of Famalicão, Jorge Silva, “was informed of the situations that occurred in Rio Ave by a businesswoman of players”.

“He was alerted to the existence of serious evidence that should not be ignored or suppressed and that sports agents with the background of the new coach of the Minho could not be in football”, he adds.

In response, the manager said he had already discussed the matter with those responsible for women’s football and that the issue would be resolved, not detailing what was done.

Contacted by Público, Jorge Silva also refused to comment, considering that these matters “should not be discussed over the phone”.

The Disciplinary Regulations of the Portuguese Football Federation, which came into force on 1 July this year, adopts for the first time specific punishments for cases of sexual harassment in football, involving managers and players.

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