We have watched in recent weeks as thirteen soccer players from the 2007/2008 U20 Canadian women’s national player pool and team have come forward with their stories about abuse during their careers with both the national team and the Vancouver Whitecaps. We believe and support these women, and have spoken with former player Ciara McCormack. The limited responses from the Vancouver Whitecaps and Canada Soccer to date are unacceptable. Many individuals within Curva Collective have expressed their concerns to both organizations in writing. Some have also chosen to stop attending matches due to this issue and because of the inadequate responses to date.
The allegations of sexual harassment and other inappropriate behaviour by the former head coach of both the U20 women's national team and the Vancouver Whitecaps women's team have been reported widely by local and national media. We encourage all supporters and fans of local and Canadian soccer to read the first hand written accounts by players. They are not our stories to tell.
As an independent supporters’ group, Curva Collective is committed to supporting the Vancouver Whitecaps FC in meaningful and quality ways. Our support, however, is not blind to these allegations and we must add our collective voice to the growing calls for change. It is our strong view that neither the Vancouver Whitecaps nor Canada Soccer have acted according to their stated values since these allegations were first made. We call upon both organizations to immediately begin taking steps to respond to the changes the thirteen soccer players have demanded. These changes include:
That Canada Soccer and the Vancouver Whitecaps implement formal harassment policies using best practices that are in line with other elite sports organizations. We believe these policies should be made publicly available.
Coaches who have behaved inappropriately with players or who demonstrate a pattern of abusive behaviour, should not be allowed to retain their coaching licenses.
Canada Soccer and the Vancouver Whitecaps should allow and provide for an independent and transparent investigation to address the allegations that have been made. We believe the reports and findings of these investigations must be made publicly available.
As a movement, Curva Collective will be watching intently for the Vancouver Whitecaps and Canada Soccer’s next steps. We hope both organizations use this as an opportunity to demonstrate greater transparency and accountability going forward.