There was confusion at Zambia’s press conference after journalists were stopped from asking questions about an investigation into manager Bruce Mwape over se3ual assault allegation.
Mwape is being investigated over the allegations, with the Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) saying it had referred its probe to FIFA.
According to the Guardian, an unnamed player on the team had claimed: ‘If [Mwape] wants to sleep with someone, you have to say yes. Normally, the coach sleeps with the players in our team.’
A Spanish journalist attempted to ask Mwape about the allegations, but having indicated he would not answer, a FIFA official told reporters to ‘restrict questions to the football and tournament only’.
Zambia Women’s World Cup manager, 63, refuses to answer questions about the investigation into alleged sexual misconduct with his players as FIFA officials tell journalists to answer ‘football questions only’.
When asked about the allegations and if he would resign, Mwape replied: ‘What environment, affecting the team, in particular? What are you talking about?
‘I would like to know, because there is no way I can retire [resign] without reason. Maybe your reason is because of what you are reading from the media, or from the press, but the truth of the matter should actually come out, not just rumours.’
After referring the case to FIFA earlier this year, FAZ general secretary Adrian Kashala said: ‘Although we have no record of official complaints from anyone on the allegations, we consider these allegations very serious and have opened an inquiry into the matter.
‘We shall collaborate with the Zambia Police Service and other relevant stakeholders in dealing with this matter.’
Speaking earlier this year, a FIFA spokesman said it was unable to comment on the investigation at this time.
‘Please note that as a general policy, the independent ethics committee does not comment on whether or not investigations are underway into alleged cases.
‘As usual, any information the ethics committee may like to share will be communicated at their discretion.’