NWSL players halt matches in display of solidarity amid sexual misconduct allegations

·1-min read
 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

NWSL players briefly halted matches on Wednesday as teams took to the field for the first time since allegations of sexual misconduct against a former coach in the league.

North Carolina Courage last week sacked English head coach Paul Riley following the allegations, which he denies.

NWSL games were suspended and league commissioner Lisa Baird resigned.

As the league resumed on Wednesday, three matches were paused in the sixth minute in a display of solidarity, with both teams at each match linking arms in the middle of the pitch. Players stood in silence for a minute.

In a statement, the NWSL Players’ Association said: "Players will join together in solidarity at the centre circle for one minute in recognition of the six years it took for Mana [Shim], Sinead [Farrelly], and all those who fought for too long to be heard.

"We call on fans to stand in silence with us. During that time, we ask you to stand in that pain and discomfort with us, as we consider what too many of us have been asked to sit with for too long.

"We call on you to consider, in that minute, what is demanded of each of us to reclaim our league and our sport."

The NWSL, US Soccer and world FIFA are to conduct separate investigations into the allegations.

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