The Canadian Soccer Federation failed to adequately monitor its national women’s under-20 team and mishandled sexual harassment allegations against former coach Bob Birarda, according to a report released Thursday.
Soccer’s national governing body, known as Canada Soccer, commissioned an independent review by McLaren Global Sport Solution. The company conducted 28 interviews, 23 of which were with current and former federation employees and executives.
As a result, he released a 125-page report detailing Canada Soccer’s mistakes.
This review shows in black and white how the federation mishandled the case of harassment allegations in 2008. It provides a timeline of actions, details how policies were not followed, and outlines a pattern in which actions did not not been documented. the frustration and anger that lingers among players today, refers to the report.
She adds that due to poor coaching, Birarda abused her position to woo, intimidate, threaten and sexually harass some players.
Birarda’s conduct was not investigated, due to the isolating nature of the U20 women’s national team in Vancouver, as well as a misunderstanding of harassment policies and reporting procedures among the team’s players , and the Birarda facade, the report says. He considered himself “untouchable” due to his power and influence over the players.
The federation ceased to have a working relationship with Birarda at the end of 2008.
Birarda, who also served as a women’s coach for the Vancouver Whitecaps, pleaded guilty in February to sexual assault and touching while in authority, and is awaiting sentencing.
The facts, which would have been committed from 1988 to 2008, affected four footballers.
MLS, the men’s soccer league in the United States and Canada, is also conducting an independent investigation into Birarda’s relationship with the Whitecaps. The report noted that there was no formal agreement between the Whitecaps and the Canadian federation, although many U20 players were at the club and in the national team.
“Internet fanatic. Web ninja. Social media trailblazer. Devoted thinker. Friend of animals everywhere.”