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Zambia Women’s coach accused of rubbing player’s chest at World Cup

A report has alleged that Bruce Mwape was under investigation for sexual misconduct before the tournament began

Fifa has confirmed it has received an offical complaint after a report alleged that the Zambia coach had rubbed his hands over the chest of one of his players at the Women’s World Cup.

The Guardian reports that Bruce Mwape, who has coached the African nation since 2018, has been accused of sexual misconduct after an incident after training last Friday.

Mwape, The Guardian has previously reported, had already been under investigation in relation to past allegations of sexual misconduct.

Debutants Zambia secured their first win at a World Cup on Monday, beating Costa Rica 3-1, but failed to progress from their group after defeats to Spain and Japan.

“Fifa takes any allegation of misconduct extremely seriously and has a clear process in place for anyone in football who wants to report an incident,” a Fifa spokesperson said to the newspaper. “We can confirm that a complaint has been received in relation to the Zambian women’s national team and this is currently being investigated. We cannot provide further details regarding an ongoing investigation for obvious confidentiality reasons.”

Mwape was appointed in May 2018 and guided Zambia to a third place finish at last year’s Women’s Africa Cup of Nations.

The coach denied the previous accusations. “It has taken about a year now,” he said before Zambia’s first game at the World Cup. “You are still talking about the same allegations. As far as I’m concerned they are fake allegations.”

The Football Association of Zambia has said that it has not received any complaints in relation to the alleged incident at the tournament.

“We wish to state the Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) has not received any such complaint from any of the players or officials in the delegation that travelled to the World Cup,” FAZ General Secretary Reuben Kamanga said in a statement.

“All the training sessions for the Copper Queens were filmed by the FAZ media team and offers no such footage… Additionally, a FIFA film crew attached to the Zambian team at the World Cup was present at all training sessions.”

With additional reporting from Reuters

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