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Venezuelan soccer players accuse ex-coach of sexual assault and harassment

Venezuelan soccer players accuse ex-coach of sexual assault and harassment

In a text posted on social media, 24 Venezuelan players referred to Kenneth Zceremita of abuse and physical, psychological and sexual harassment.

CARACAS – A group of 24 Venezuelan footballers denounced last Tuesday Former national coach Kenneth Zseremita Sexual assault on one of them, in addition to being subjected to physical and psychological harassment.

“We, the players of the Venezuelan national team from various operations, have decided to break the silence to prevent the cases of abuse and physical, psychological and sexual harassment caused by football coach Kenneth Zceremita from killing more victims in women’s football and in the world,” reads a statement issued by the player Dina Castellanos.

In it, they state that “from 2013 to 2017, many incidents arose around the coach’s personality. ZceremitaIt is most common as physical and psychological abuse during training.”

They say, “Many of us still suffer from the trauma and mental injuries that accompany us today.”

In the transcript, they also explained that in 2020, “one of them admitted to having been sexually assaulted since the age of 14 by the coach,” an abuse that “continued until he was fired” in 2017.

They explain, “This was news that, for all of us, was so hard to digest, that many of us feel guilty for being so close to all this and not realizing something so serious and being punished for it.”

In this regard, they emphasized that the recognition did not surprise them “because that was the time of the environment that the coach cultivates every day.”

“We have looked for different solutions to be able to file a legal claim, but for various reasons, it has been very difficult for us. For this reason, we have decided to delete our partner’s name to respect her privacy and, above all, the legal framework of this complaint,” they add.

Likewise, they add that “as a result of this recognition”, many players have expressed their experiences bullying, whether by telephone, inappropriate questions and invitations, bribes to stay within check, gifts out of context, massages and various positions that were certainly not normal.”

24 confirmed that “although it sounds crazy”, it was “normal” for their coach to “give opinion, comment and ask us about our sexual orientation and intimacy, even when they are minors.”

Cases supported by technical personnel

“Many of these situations were supported by some members of the coaching staff. Today we understand that these actions are intended to manipulate us and make us feel guilty. Players from the LGBTI community have been constantly questioned about their sexual orientation and harassment towards heterosexual players has been consistent,” they confirm.

Also, “there were threats and manipulations to tell the parents of the players their sexual orientation if they did not have a system or perform as they should.”

“Sexual insinuations were everyday issues, as were comments about the physical attractiveness of many of our players,” they add.

The football players also denounced that the situation was not lived by them alone, but “at the level of the executive and the coach there were also these situations” in which the coach manipulated until they thought that everyone around them were bad people and that only he was the one who asked for “his good.”

“It was always a struggle due to his lack of professionalism and mythology. Unfortunately, the results from our talent kept him in good standing. We never felt we had the tools to speak up and be respected due to the influence and power of this person in our lives. He was a tyrant.”

The document was signed, in addition to Castellanos, by Lourdes Moreno, Gabriela Garcia, Maria Gabriela Garcia, Hilary Vergara, Sandra Lozardo, Michel Romero, Fatima Lobo, Franele Rodriguez Nicole Gonzalez, Camila Pescatore and Daniuxa Rodriguez.

The list of signatories was supplemented by Juliana Caili, Alexandra Canaguacan, Genesis Flores, Alexa Castro, Johanli Mujica, Barbara Serrano, Tahiseles Marcano, Hliamar Alvarado, Yellen Medina, Natalie Pasquale, Isis Briceño and Diana Rodriguez.

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