In addition to his role with the Orange team, Parsons, 35, is also still the head coach of the American club Portland Thorns. The coach he succeeded in 2015, Paul Riley, was accused of sexual abuse by two former club players last week.
“It was only after I was appointed that it was made clear to me that the coach had been fired after an investigation had been opened into an incident. And that he was never allowed to work for the club again, ”Parsons explains. “They declined to comment further, including on the nature of the incident.”
The KNVB was also unaware of the affair, according to a spokesperson, when the association reunited with Mark Parsons in the search for a successor for Sarina Wiegman earlier this year. “So we mainly talked about technical football issues, as usual with the appointment of a national coach.”
The Englishman started after the Olympics with the Orange Lionesses, and also ends the season with Portland Thorns. From the end of November, he will devote himself entirely to the Orange Lionesses.
KNVB is shocked
Former footballers Sinead Farrelly and Meleana Shim revealed in magazine last week Athleticism that they had been abused by Paul Riley. The Englishman, who denies the allegations, was sacked by his current club, North Carolina Courage after the revelations.
After Farrelly and Shim, more and more football players from the United States, Australia and Venezuela have told stories of transgressive behavior. In the American League NWSL, the affair led to the departure of President Lisa Baird, who allegedly ignored signals of abuse for years.
Parsons club Portland Thorns have suspended football chief executive Gavin Wilkinson pending the results of an outside investigation into the case.
“Mark Parsons and the KNVB are shocked at the stories of cross-border behavior in international women’s football,” said a spokesperson for the association. “It is horrible for our sport and especially for the victims.” The KNVB says it has not received any reports from the hotline for sexual harassment in response to the international revelations.
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