Pauw denies body shaming claims during stint at Houston Dash
London, Dec 16, 2022 (AFP) - Republic of Ireland Women's manager Vera Pauw insisted Friday claims she body shamed players while in charge at Houston Dash, are an insult to her "personal values".
A joint report by the National Women's Soccer League and NWSL Players' Association on Wednesday alleged Pauw shamed Houston players "for their weight and attempted to exert excessive control over their eating habits".
Houston apologised to their past and present players affected by the reported misconduct by head coach James Clarkson and Pauw, who was in charge of the team in 2018.
But the 59-year-old Dutchwoman issued a strong response to the allegations on Friday.
"I want to refute every allegation made against me from my time at Houston Dash," Pauw wrote on Twitter.
"Player welfare has always been of the utmost importance to me throughout my career.
"To suggest I would body shame any human being, footballer or not, is an insult to my personal values and to my behaviour as coach and I cannot allow this claim to go unchallenged."
The report, which looked at misconduct allegations relating to a number of individuals and clubs, said Pauw "appeared for but refused to co-operate in an interview with the joint investigative team", although she did "provide a written denial of what she suspected were the allegations against her".
In her response on Friday, Pauw, who took over as Republic manager in 2019 and guided the country to next year's Women's World Cup, expressed frustration at the way she was presented by the investigation.
"The report suggests that I did not co-operate with the investigation team, which is untrue," she said.
"I accepted an invitation to join a video call, on September 29, on which there were four people and me.
"I asked to record the call but they said this could not happen and they refused to answer any of my questions before they ended the call.
"I then wrote a 13-page letter to outline my experience of my time at Houston and offered to re-engage with them but they never responded."
The Football Association of Ireland on Thursday said it was aware of the report and would continue "to support Vera and her team as they prepare for the upcoming FIFA Women's World Cup in 2023."
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