FIFA, US Soccer launch investigations into NWSL

(Ira L. Black/Corbis via Getty Images)

U.S. Soccer and FIFA announced separate investigations into the NWSL on Friday following a bombshell report from The Athletic detailing abuse allegations against former North Carolina coach Paul Riley.

The U.S. Soccer Federation helped establish the NWSL in 2013, serving as an administrative and financial support to the league. The USSF also currently pays the salaries of many USWNT players competing in the NWSL.

U.S. Soccer has suspended Riley’s Pro Level coaching license amid allegations of sexual coercion and emotional abuse.

“We take seriously our responsibility to vigorously investigate the abhorrent behavior that has been reported and gain a full and frank understanding of the factors that it allowed it to happen, and the changes that should be made to make sure it doesn’t happen again,” U.S. Soccer said in an official statement posted to Twitter.

FIFA also released a statement regarding the abuse allegations, laying out plans for a preliminary investigation into the NWSL.

The organization’s statement reads in part, “FIFA will be reaching out to the respective parties, including US Soccer and NWSL, for further information about the various safeguarding concerns and allegations of abuse that have been raised.”

NWSL commissioner Lisa Baird resigned from her post on Friday amid the turmoil, with General counsel Lisa Levine reported to be leaving the league as well.