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England pledge support for US women's team after abuse scandal

(AFP)

England’s players will join forces with the US women’s team to show solidarity with victims of the abuse scandal that has rocked football in America ahead of Friday’s sell-out match at Wembley.

A bombshell report published on Monday following a year-long investigation by former US attorney general Sally Yates detailed systemic sexual abuse and misconduct in the US domestic game.

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England forward Beth Mead said Thursday she was “sickened” by the revelations, while head coach Sarina Wiegman called the situation “horrible” and “unacceptable”.

“We’re in contact with the American team and some of the players,” said Mead. “We’re working on something to show our support for them. Nothing has been finalised yet but we will be doing something.

“When I found out, I was sickened by the situation. It’s a worldwide problem but women need to be taken seriously. (I’m) very proud of the victims that actually stood up and said it.

“People need to start doing better, the US governing body needs to be doing better, worldwide we need to be doing better.”

Governing body US Soccer said it would act immediately to implement reforms following the report, which included interviews with more than 200 National Women’s Soccer League players.

US head coach Vlatko Andonovski said earlier this week that members of his squad would be given the option of sitting out this week’s game pitting the world champions against European champions England if they decided they were not in the right frame of mind.

England boss Wiegman echoed Mead’s comments about abuse in women’s sport being a wider issue.

“My first reaction is that it is horrible, unacceptable that it’s still happening and I feel very sorry for all of the victims,” said the Dutch coach.

“It should stop immediately of course, we all agree on that.

“This problem in the USA. I think it’s a worldwide problem still and it’s just really the time now that we all step up and stop these things.”

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