Irregularities in the Canadian Football Association regarding the handling of allegations of sexual harassment against a former under-20 coach | football | Sports

The Canadian Football Association (Canada Soccer) has improperly handled allegations of sexual harassment against former under-20 women’s national team coach Bob Berarda, according to the findings of an investigation published Thursday.

“This review explains how the CSA (Canada football) mishandled the 2008 allegations of harassment” against Berarda, said Canadian attorney and investigator Richard McClaren, who led the investigation.

McLaren said the report “provides a timeline of action, details how policies were not followed, and outlines a pattern of failure to document decisions that ultimately led to player frustration and anger, which continues today.”

Among other omissions, the report singled out the federation for announcing Berarda’s departure from the post in 2008 as a mutual decision, although the federation’s executive committee agreed to dismiss him on the recommendation of an investigator.

McLaren said Canada Soccer “offended the players by not acknowledging that the harassment was the reason for their expulsion.”

Berarda is awaiting sentencing in Canada after pleading guilty in February to four counts of sexual assault and unwanted sexual contact in the cases of four teenage players he coached between 1988 and 2008.

McLaren’s review found that while Canadian football had anti-harassment policies in place in 2008, senior officials were unaware of how they worked.

The report also indicated that there was confusion among players about how to file harassment complaints.

In a later statement, Canadian Football Association general secretary Earl Cochran admitted that the organization had disappointed the players and apologized.

“Harassment, inappropriate texting, intimidation, sexual misconduct or any other form of abuse or abuse has no place in football, at any level in our country,” Cochrane stressed.

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The CEO noted that Canada Soccer has implemented a series of measures to prevent similar cases from recurring. (Dr)

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