Protect Athletes From Harassment and Assault

Target: Gianni Infantino, President of Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA)

Goal: Strengthen process for reporting and acting on claims of sexual misconduct.

Unfortunately, the most recent Women’s World Cup for football (aka soccer) grabbed more headlines because of an incident that took place outside of competitive play rather than the accomplishments of its athletes. When the Spanish team scored a historic win, the president of the Spanish soccer federation reportedly planted an unwanted kiss on a star player. Luis Rubiales then allegedly pressured the athlete to come to his defense in the aftermath. Although this man was investigated and suspended by the major international soccer governing body, FIFA, the ban on his participation in the sport will be lifted before the next Women’s World Cup.

This incident is seemingly part of a troubling trend in the soccer world. Coaches and other officials from over a dozen countries have been accused of sexual misconduct over the past few years. The allegations range from inappropriate pictures being sent to players to sexual coercion in exchange for playing opportunities to outright sexual assault. Some accusers also claim to have been threatened if they broke their silence. More troubling still, leaders of individual national soccer federations have allegedly covered up or ignored many of the allegations.

Sign the petition below to demand FIFA take more decisive action in ending this epidemic of abuse and complicity.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Mr. Infantino,

A reinstated Zimbabwe coach was taken into police custody for alleged assault. Just before the Women’s World Cup commenced, a coach from participating Zambia underwent an investigation for sexual misconduct. And in the aftermath of what should have been a milestone celebration, the earned spotlight of the winning World Cup team was stolen away by one man’s apparent inappropriate actions.

Sexual assault and misconduct in women’s football is a reported trend that has allegedly been enabled and ignored for years. These athletes and workers should be able to perform their jobs free of harassment and unwanted advances. And FIFA must do everything in its power to make this safe working environment possible.

The process for bringing forth allegations and conducting a comprehensive investigation must be streamlined and made more transparent. And the penalties for found wrongdoing must extend beyond suspensions that allow the accused free access to future potential victims within a short amount of time. Please make the necessary reforms for all members of the international football family and for the integrity of the sport that so many love.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Mica Asato


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