The Football Association of Ireland has pledged its support to Republic of Ireland head coach Vera Pauw after rape allegations and sexual abuse. Pauw revealed recently that she was raped by a prominent football official during her playing days. Before becoming the Republic of Ireland manager she was the head coach of the Netherlands, Russia, and South Africa. Pauw has 85 appearances for her country.

“The FAI has given its full support to Republic of Ireland Women’s Senior Team Manager Vera Pauw at this difficult time in her life as she makes very brave revelations about her past,” the Football Association of Ireland said about Vera Pauw. “Vera has engaged on this matter with the Association’s senior leaders for some time now and the FAI has offered her all the backing she may need on a personal and professional level. The FAI is absolutely aware of the impact these revelations will have on Vera’s well-being and have assured her of the ongoing full support of the FAI Board and all her colleagues at the Association. The FAI will be making no further comment on this matter and asks the media to respect Vera’s privacy at this very difficult time.”

“For these past 35 years, I have kept the abuse private. I have allowed the memory of it to control my life, to fill me with daily pain and anguish, to dominate my inner feelings,” Pauw said. “Too many I’m seen as a brash and loud football coach and manager, a tough woman who has risen to the top in a man’s world. Nothing could be further from the truth. For the past number of years I have tried to have my case heard in a fair and just manner by the football authorities in the Netherlands but to no avail. Some people would rather keep my rape and sexual assaults quiet than offer me the support I need by opening this story to the world. I can no longer share the silence.”

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