Women's World Cup manager accused of 'rubbing player's chest' as FIFA launch investigation

Zambia manager Bruce Mwape has been accused of allegedly 'rubbing his hands over the chest of a player' at the Women's World Cup 2023.

Avignyan Mukhopadhyay
New Update
Women's World Cup | Sportz Point

Zambia manager Bruce Mwape has been accused of allegedly 'rubbing his hands over the chest of a player' at the Women's World Cup, with FIFA confirming it had received an official complaint.

Mwape, 63, was subject of sexual misconduct allegations before the 2022 Africa Cup of Nations semi-finalists began their World Cup campaign. He denied the claims, branding them 'fake' before insisting he had not been spoken to by police at any stage.

As reported by The Guardian, the more recent alleged incident is said to have been reported while Zambia compete at the Women's World Cup. It is said to have taken place after a training session on Friday, with the report to a FIFA official coming after the conclusion of Zambia's campaign earlier this week.

Women's World cup  | Sportz Point

Bruce Mwape has denied sexual misconduct allegations(Image- AP)

According to the report, Football Association of Zambia president Andrew Kamanga has been made aware of the alleged incident. Zambia beat Costa Rica 3-1 at Waikato Stadium in Hamilton, New Zealand, but were still eliminated during the group stages after defeats against Japan and Spain.

In early July, a separate report from The Guardian made reference to sexual misconduct allegations said to have been referred to FIFA in 2022. Earlier in the tournament, a journalist attempted to ask the Zambia manager about these allegations during a press conference, only for a media officer for FIFA to interject.

"I'll ask you to restrict the questions to the football and the tournament only, for this press conference. I'll go to the next question," the media officer said, per Sky News.

In other Women's World Cup news, at the same press conference, Mwape was asked whether he had considered stepping aside in the face of a supposed bad atmosphere around Zambia's squad. "What environment affecting the team in particular?" he replied. "What are you talking about? I would like to know because there is no way I can retire without, for no reason."

The 2023 Women's World Cup is the first for which Zambia's team - nicknamed the Copper Queens - have qualified. They beat Germany and drew with Switzerland in warm-up games, but were out of contention before winning their final group game.

Zambia's women will next be in competitive action in October, when they begin their qualification campaign for the 2024 Olympics. Just two African nations will take part in the women's football tournament at the Paris games.

A FIFA statement read: "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."

Fifa Womens World Cup 2023