According to her own statements, the former Dutch national soccer coach and player Vera Pauw was raped at the age of 23 and was also sexually molested several times.
The 59-year-old explained this on Friday in an interview with the daily newspaper “NRC” and in a statement on Twitter. The three accused men are said to have all worked in Dutch football.
“For 35 years I kept this a secret from the rest of the world, my family, my teammates and my players,” said Pauw, complaining that the Dutch Football Association KNVB had not dealt with her allegations properly.
“For the past few years I’ve tried to ensure that this case is investigated fairly and fairly by the Dutch football authorities, but to no avail,” said Pauw, who “can’t keep silent anymore”.
“Some people preferred to keep this rape to themselves”
The Dutch woman went on to explain that she had lodged a complaint with the police: “Some people wanted to keep this rape and sexual assault to themselves rather than give me the support I need to speak out about this story.”
In an investigation carried out by the association under pressure from Pauw, the allegations were largely confirmed. The KNVB apologized that it was “unacceptable that she did not have a safe working environment.”
Pauw is currently national coach in Ireland. She is considered the pioneer of Dutch women’s football. From 2004 to 2010 she was women’s Bonds coach, under her leadership the Oranje women surprisingly finished third in their European Championship debut in 2009. In 2007, the 59-year-old was behind the founding of the honor division for women.