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Ireland WNT players discussing on-pitch protest at sexual abuse in women’s game

katie mccabe

Katie McCabe raises possibility of on-pitch protest.

Republic of Ireland captain Katie McCabe has confirmed that the team are discussing the possibility of an on-pitch protest at sexual abuse problems in the women’s game.

Ireland host Sweden at Tallaght Stadium in a World Cup qualifier on Thursday and McCabe has raised the possibility of an on-pitch demonstration, much like those seen recently in the National Women’s Soccer League in the United States and the Women’s Super League in England.

Players in those leagues stopped matches to link arms together as a show of solidarity in the wake of allegations that have come out against North Carolina Courage coach Paul Riley.

The Ireland squad contains Courage players Denise O’Sullivan and Diane Caldwell and speaking to media on Monday, McCabe confirmed that the whole squad would be asked for their views before a decision is made.

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Katie McCabe: It’s important we do something.

“Within the WSL we take the knee in terms of the anti-racism, so it’ll again be a conversation we’ll have,” McCabe, who plays her club football at Arsenal, said.

“We haven’t spoken to Sweden or anything on it yet but it will be a conversation whether we choose to do it or not, we haven’t decided yet.

“You saw in the pictures that went around that weekend, we done it ourselves with Everton. It shows awareness and people are asking questions ‘why are they doing it?’ I think it opens people’s minds up. I think it’s important but something we haven’t decided on just yet as a team.”


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Paul Riley accused of sexual coercion.

The allegations against Riley were reported in an article in The Athletic that was published on October 1st. In it, Riley is accused of “sexual coercion spanning multiple teams and leagues since 2010.”

Ireland’s match against Sweden takes place at Tallaght Stadium on Thursday, with a kick-off time of 7pm. The match will be broadcast live on RTE 2.

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