Vancouver Whitecaps fans staged a walkout during the team’s Major League Soccer game Wednesday night. (Wikimedia Commons photo)

Whitecaps fans stage walkout over club’s response to allegations against B.C. coach

Soccer coach has been suspended by Coastal FC since February

A Vancouver Whitecaps supporters group – a collective of fans called the Southsiders – staged a walkout during the 35th minute of the team’s Major League Soccer game Wednesday night at BC Place, protesting the team’s handling of allegations of abuse against a former coach.

In a February blog post written by a former player with Canada’s U20 team, allegations of inappropriate conduct were levied against the coach, who left both the ’Caps and the women’s national soccer program a decade ago, and more recently had been coaching a youth girls team with Surrey-based Coastal FC.

Shortly after the allegations, Coastal FC suspended the coach.

On April 1, and again earlier this week, the Whitecaps released a statement on the issue, explaining that the organization was aware of the allegations in 2008 and hired an ombudsman to “do a thorough and impartial investigation into the complaints.”

“Upon conclusion of the investigation, while the Ombudsperson had no recommendations for further action, the club and coach parted ways,” the April 17 statement reads.

The statement was criticized by many – especially fans and supporters online – prompting Wednesday’s walkout, which left a section of BC Place temporarily empty during the Whitecaps 1-0 win over Major League Soccer rival LAFC.

“While the statement does contain some new wording, it does not seem to effectively address the requests made by the former U20 players,” read a statement posted on the Southsiders’ official Twitter account.

“There still seems to be a significant lack of accountability for what occurred in 2008, including that the coach in question was very quickly able to return to coaching young women. The abuses detailed by the former players has yet to be fully acknowledged.”

Twice since February, Coastal FC executive director Chris Murphy has told Peace Arch News that the youth soccer club was not aware of past allegations against the coach at the time of his hiring.

Earlier this month, the Whitecaps announced that they had made the Vancouver Police Department aware of the blogs posts that detail the allegations against the coach, and on April 3 the VPD confirmed to PAN that they had “been made aware.”



editorial@peacearchnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Union says mediated negotiation with WFP has been ‘disappointing’

Striking forestry workers have been on picket lines since Canada Day

The conflicting ideas of economy and ecology examined in Ellingsen’s work

Artist talk for photographic exhibition The Last Stand is part of this weekend’s Art & Earth Festival

PHOTOS: Storm split weekend effort at the Brindy

After home stand, Campbell River to head on the road Saturday

Global Climate Strike comes to Campbell River

Rally and march to be held at Spirit Square on Sept. 20

VIDEO: Drone footage documents work to free salmon at Big Bar landslide

Video shows crews working to remove rocks and wood, and transporting salmon by helicopter

B.C. party bus company to be monitored after 40 intoxicated teens found onboard

Police received tip teens and young adults were drinking on party buses and limousines in Surrey

Rick Mercer calls out Conservative candidate in B.C. for fake meme

‘Not true. All fake. Please Stop,’ tweeted Rick Mercer in response

Bear killed in Kimberley after chasing girl, wreaking havoc on town

This particular brown-coloured bear has been the subject of many calls this summer; very food habituated, CO says

Vancouver Island man bikes through B.C. Interior for mental health, addiction awareness

Vancouver Island Resident Mat Fee is approaching the final phase of his cross-Canada bike journey to raise awareness about addiction recovery.

Police investigate after intoxicated teens clash with security at B.C. fair

18-year-old woman arrested and RCMP looking at possible assault in Victoria-area fall fair incident

BC SPCA investigating after three dogs found shot dead in Prince George ditch

The three adult dogs appeared to be well cared for before being found with gunshot wounds, BC SPCA says

Boy overdosed on illicit anti-anxiety drug found on Kelowna classroom floor, RCMP say

Noah Mills, 8, ingested a pink powdery substance off his Kelowna classroom floor

Psychiatric assessment ordered for man accused in Salmon Arm church shooting

Lawyer tells court accused was diagnosed with psychosis hours after his arrest

Most Read