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Ireland women’s football coach claims she was raped as a young player

DUBLIN: The Republic of Ireland women’s national football team manager Vera Pauw made a shocking revelation to the football world. Vera revealed on Twitter that she was a victim of sexual assault and rape while she was a football player.

The 59-year-old released a statement on social media saying it has been “the toughest thing” in her life to reveal. The Irish Football Association and many fans have come out in support of the Ireland women’s football coach.

Ms Pauw revealed that as a young player she was raped by a “prominent football official” and later two men within Dutch football sexually assaulted her.

Her statement reads: “For 35 years I have kept a secret from the world, from my family, from my team-mates, my players, my colleagues, and I can now accept, from myself.

“Even those closest to me have not known of the rape I endured at the hands of a prominent football official when I was a young player.

“Later two sexual assaults by two other men were added to this record. All three men were employed within Dutch football at the time of these incidents.”

The Football Association of Ireland said it fully understood the extent of Ms Pauw’s revelations and offered its full support to the head coach. Admitting that it was too late to make a proper response to the incident, the Dutch Football Association also announced that it had jointly decided to investigate the matter.

Vera Pauw is a Dutch football coach and former player. She made 89 appearances for Holland between 1984-1998. She currently manages the Republic of Ireland women’s national football team. She has managed several national women’s football teams, including Scotland, Russia and South Africa.

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