The sexual assault scandal in women’s football extends to Australia, with many players denouncing a culture of tolerance towards these crimes. Lisa de Fana, 36, the former Matildas striker, said in an interview that she repeatedly suffered from predatory behavior and harassment from her teammates when she was a teenager.
Have you been sexually harassed? Yes Have you been harassed? Yes, did I see things that made me feel uncomfortable? Yes, the former player told the Sydney Daily Telegraph after the US women’s football strike was halted in protest of sexual harassment issues. De Vana said she was harassed by her teammates when she was playing for Young Matildas and that she suffered further harassment without bringing those responsible.
His allegations were confirmed by former teammate Alicia Karnavas and former coach Rose Garofano. Another former soccer player, Raleigh Dobson, said she suffered abuse when she first entered professional football.
The Football Association of Australia denied knowledge of the allegations and announced an independent investigation into the complaints. “Australian football has zero tolerance for conduct that violates the values and standards required of anyone involved in the sport,” a statement read. Next year, Australia and New Zealand will host the FIFA Women’s World Cup.
Recently, cases of abuse have been reported in women’s gymnastics and hockey. The Swimming Federation also launched an investigation after a swimmer left the national team ahead of the Tokyo Olympics for the presence of “misogynistic perverts” in the sport.