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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Abbotsford bank ATM robbery thwarted by woman standing her ground

Police arrest alleged known robber running down South Fraser wearing balaclava

Teen accused in Abbotsford attack on 85-year-old convicted of firearms offence

Brandon Janveaux found in vehicle in Chilliwack with .22-calibre rifle down his pants

Dad of missing Abbotsford woman charged after allegedly exposing himself in park

Barry Shpeley charged with sexual assault and assault at Hougen Park

Not over yet: Mixture of snow, freezing rain on way as winter storm tapers in Lower Mainland

Environment Canada releases weather alert for Metro Vancouver, Fraser Valley

All Mission Public Schools are open today, Jan. 17, except for Deroche Elementary

Superintendent expains one school closed because buses are not running on Nicomen Island

Kids across Canada more at risk of hospitalization from flu this season: doctor

Dr. Theresa Tam said influenza B does not usually peak until February or later

Closed mills, housing surge support a positive forecast for lumber industries

B.C. lumber producers have closed mills accounting for 18% of province’s capacity, RBC report says

Good Samaritan pays part of rent for B.C. woman facing eviction in can-collecting dispute

Zora Hlevnjak, 76, supplements her pension by collecting cans and receiving public donations

Should winter tires be mandatory in the Lower Mainland?

ICBC dial-a-claims go up as winter storm takes toll

Canada Post driver in hospital after ice smashes windshield at Massey Tunnel

Incident happened on Richmond side of the Massey Tunnel

Kelowna’s ‘Baby Mary’ finds biological parents after more than 30 years

Geneologist and DNA test helped her connect with her biological parents

Fire truck, police car hit in chain of crashes on Hwy. 99

‘People weren’t paying attention,’ says Surrey assistant fire chief

Kelowna hotel to award couples for baby-making with Nooner deal

The deal includes a free stay every Valentine’s Day for the next 18 years

‘Scariest boat ride of my life’: Passengers trapped by ice on rocky B.C. ferry sailing

The Nimpkish docked in Bella Coola on Jan.12 coated in a thick layer of ice

Most Read