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

Award-winning documentary shares the modern story of Huu-ay-aht First Nations

Broadcast premiere of documentary will take place in Port Alberni on Jan. 29

Australian investigators head to C-130 plane crash site

B.C. gov’t makes statement, sends condolences to Coulson Aviation

UPDATED: Tofino-Ucluelet highway will be open for “essential travel only” on Friday

Vehicles will be screened at the Tofino/Ucluelet junction and at Sproat Lake.

Veteran Island journalist battles cancer through pioneering treatment

Vancouver Island rallies around JR Rardon and family during stay in Seattle

VIDEO: Mass coronavirus quarantines seen in China won’t happen in Canada, authorities say

‘If a case comes here, and it is probably … it will still be business as normal’

Province’s oldest practising lawyer shares advice at her 100th birthday party

Firefighters bring Constance Isherwood a cake with 100 birthday candles

Vernon woman suing McDonald’s for spilled coffee

Woman seeking nearly $10K, says employee failed to put lid on properly

Diners’ health tax not catching on in B.C., restaurant group says

Small businesses look for options to cover employer health tax

B.C. comic wins judgment after club owner slaps cellphone out of his hands

Incident happened last summer when Garrett Clark was performing in Abbotsford

Owner surrenders dog suffering from days-old gunshot wound to B.C. SPCA

The dog was also found to be emaciated and suffering from a flea infestation

B.C. man dies after police called for ‘firearms injury’ in rural Alberta

Victim is 30-year-old Greater Victoria man, say police

Mayors call for ‘calmness’ as highway rockslide cuts Tofino, Ucluelet off from supplies

Ministry of transportation expects to open road for “essential travel only” from noon-8 p.m. Friday.

Most Read