Report: NWSL commissioner is out amid Paul Riley scandal

Sports

FILE – In this Oct. 27, 2019, file photo, Carolina Courage head coach Paul Riley watches from the sideline during the second half of an NWSL championship soccer game against the Chicago Red Stars in Cary, N.C. The Courage have fired Riley effective immediately after allegations of sexual harassment and misconduct. The allegations were first reported by The Athletic in a story Thursday, Sept. 30, 2021, that detailed misconduct stretching back more than a decade. (AP Photo/Karl B DeBlaker, File)

National Women’s Soccer League Commissioner Lisa Baird is out after some 19 months on the job amid allegations that a former coach engaged in sexual harassment and misconduct toward players, a person with knowledge of the situation told The Associated Press.

The person spoke to the AP on the condition of anonymity because the move Friday had not been made public. It comes in the wake of claims of misconduct, including sexual coercion, leveled by two former players against North Carolina coach Paul Riley.

Riley was fired by the Courage on Thursday and the allegations touched off a wave of condemnation by players that forced this weekend’s games to be called off.

Additionally, FIFA on Friday opened an investigation into the case. It is rare that soccer’s international governing body gets involved in a controversy involving a member association. U.S. Soccer also announced an independent investigation on Friday.

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