Republic of Ireland manager Vera Pauw accused of ‘weight-shaming’

Republic of Ireland manager Vera Pauw charged with ‘shameful weight’ – GETTY IMAGES

Republic of Ireland women’s team manager Vera Pauw has been accused of ‘shameful weight’ by former players at the American club she managed in 2018, but Pauw has denied commenting on the players’ appearances or monitoring their weight while at the Houston Dash.

The allegations were outlined in a joint report released by the NWSL, America’s top women’s league, and the NWSL Players’ Association, following their year-long joint investigation into widespread reports of abusive behavior by several other NWSL coaches.

He summarized that Pauw “shamed players about their weight and attempted to exert undue control over their eating habits,” adding, “Players have credibly reported that Pauw criticized players for their appearance, e.g. example saying some players were “too big” while praising other players for weight loss, with no apparent correlation with performance or health.

“Players reported that Pauw’s comments affected a teammate struggling with an eating disorder.”

Pauw was interviewed as part of the investigation, although the report says she refused to cooperate. However she adds that he has provided a “written denial of what she suspected were his allegations against her, including a statement that he has never made any comments on a player’s appearance or kept track of players’ weights.”

The Football Association of Ireland (FAI) said on Thursday that Pauw continues to have its support, adding in a statement: “The FA is aware of a joint NWSL/NWSLPA report in which Vera Pauw was mentioned.

“Neither the FAI nor Vera saw this report before it was published and we note that Vera has already expressed her views to the authors of the report. The FAI continues to support Vera and her team as they prepare for the upcoming FIFA Women’s World Cup in 2023”.

A statement released by Houston Dash on social media saw them “apologize to players, present and former, who were the subject of head coach Vera Pauw’s 2018 misconduct,” as well as apologizing for what the report called “emotional misconduct” allegedly performed by James Clarkson, who was their head coach until he was suspended indefinitely in April.

The club also confirmed on Wednesday it would not renew England manager Clarkson’s contract, which was due to expire at the end of 2022. In April, Clarkson, who was born in Cambridgeshire but has lived and coached in Houston for more than 20 years, described the allegations against him as “baseless”.

Republic of Ireland players celebrate qualifying for the 2023 Women's World Cup - GETTY IMAGES

Republic of Ireland players celebrate qualifying for the 2023 Women’s World Cup – GETTY IMAGES

Dutch Pauw, 59, led the Republic of Ireland to qualification for their first-ever major tournament, beating Scotland in the play-offs in October to reach next summer’s Women’s World Cup. Her team will face co-hosts Australia, Nigeria and Olympic champions Canada in Group B of the tournament.

In a management career spanning nearly 25 years, she has also covered Scotland, the Netherlands, Russia and South Africa. A separate, independent report written by former interim US Attorney General Sally Yates – who did not name Pauw and focused on the behavior of other former NWSL coaches – released in October after being commissioned by US Soccer , found that emotional abuse and sexual misconduct were “systemic” in the NWSL.

The scandal erupted when another England manager, Liverpool-born Paul Riley, was accused of sexual harassment and coercion by several former players. Riley, who has denied the allegations, was fired as head coach at NWSL club North Carolina Courage, but the allegations didn’t stop there, with five NWSL coaches quitting their jobs last season amid allegations of misconduct.

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