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

Elk Valley pride groups celebrate milestone

LGBTQ community marks 50 years since decriminalization

GALLERY: First responders in Fernie return baby owl to its nest

The baby owl’s inability to fly back to its nest prompted a rescue by first responders

VIDEO: Sick eagle released back into wild

Three months after a golden eagle suffering from lead poisoning was found… Continue reading

New program to get Elk Valley youth into workforce

Elk Valley once again facing labour shortage with over 150 job vacancies

CanWel takes Fernie students tree planting

Fernie Secondary class learns about reforestation; CanWel responds to AKBLG resolutions

VIDEO: Sick eagle released back into wild

Three months after a golden eagle suffering from lead poisoning was found… Continue reading

Sparwood Save-On-Foods partners with Food Share

A Sparwood supermarket is on its way to becoming waste free after… Continue reading

Kootenay man arrested and charged in 2015 murder

Nathaniel Jessup 32 of Creston has been charged with the second-degree murder of Katherine McAdam and offering an indignity to a body.

Community spirit saves Sparwood’s Coal Miner Days

Volunteers still needed to help run event, which will be held from June 3-9 at various locations

Sparwood Mayor resigns from Teck

David Wilks resigns from Teck Coal over a perceived conflict of interest

Scheer says it would take Conservatives five years to balance budget

Scheeraccused the Liberal government of spending $79.5 billion of previously unbudgeted funds

B.C. man, 30, arrested for driving his parents’ cars while impaired twice in one day

The Vancouver-area man was arrested after officers caught him driving impaired twice in one day

New airline regulations bring compensation for tarmac delays, over-bookings

Some of the new regulations will roll out in July, while others are expected for December.

More than half of Canadians support ban on handguns, assault rifles: study

Divide between rural and urban respondents in latest Angus Reid Institute public opinion study

Most Read