10/06/2021 at 05:34 CEST
. / Caracas
The Venezuelan Prosecutor’s Office began a investigation against former national coach Kenneth Zseremeta and physical trainer Williams Pino after a group of 24 Venezuelan soccer players publicly denounce sexual abuse and harassmentthe attorney general, Tarek Saab, reported on Tuesday. “The 79th national prosecutor commissioned with full competence to investigate alleged sexual abuse committed by Kenneth Zseremeta together with Williams Pino to the detriment of players of the Vinotinto women’s team,” Saab said in a message on Twitter minutes after the footballers made the public complaint.
Through a statement also broadcast on Twitter by the player Deyna Castellanos, a group of 24 Venezuelan soccer players accused Zseremeta of having sexually abused one of them, in addition to having subjected them to physical and psychological harassment. “We, the players of the Venezuelan national team from different processes, have decided to break the silence to prevent the situations of abuse and physical, psychological and sexual harassment caused by soccer coach Kenneth Zseremeta from taking more victims in women’s soccer and in the world, “reads the statement. In it, they state that “from 2013 to 2017, numerous incidents arose around the figure of coach Zseremeta, the most common of which were physical and psychological abuse during training.” “Many of us continue with trauma and mental injuries that accompany us in our day to day “, they assure.
In the text, they also explain that, in 2020, one of them “confessed to them that she had been sexually abused since the age of 14 by the coach “, something that” lasted until he was fired “, in 2017.” This has been news that, for all of us, has been very difficult to assimilate, to the extent that many of us feel guilty for having been so close to all this and not having realized something so serious and punishable “, they explain. In this regard, they assure that the confession did not surprise them” because that was the environment time that the coach cultivated day by day “.” We have looked for different solutions to be able to make a legal claim, but for different reasons it has been very difficult for us. For that reason, we have decided to omit the name of our colleague to respect her privacy, and above all, the legal framework of this complaint, “they add.
Likewise, they add that, “as a result of this confession”, several players “have expressed experiences of harassment, both by telephone and questions and undue invitations, bribes to stay within the team, gifts out of context, massages and different situations that, definitely , they weren’t normal. ” All 24 emphasized that, “although it sounds crazy,” for them it was “normal” for their coach to “give their opinion, comment and ask us about our sexuality and intimacy, even when they are minors.”
Situations supported by the coaching staff
“Many of those situations were supported by some members of the coaching staff. Today we understand that these actions were intended to manipulate us and make us feel guilty. The LGBTI community players were constantly questioned about their sexual orientation and harassment towards heterosexual players was constant, “they emphasize. There were also” threats and manipulations to tell the players’ parents about their sexual orientation if they did not have discipline or gave up. as they should. “” The sexual innuendos were everyday topics, as were the comments about the physical attractiveness of many of our players, “they add.
The footballers also denounce that the situation was not lived by only them, but that “at the executive and coaching staff level there were also these situations” in which the coach manipulated them so that they would think that everyone around them “were bad people and that only he was the one who sought “his good. “It was constant conflict due to his lack of professionalism and mythomania. Unfortunately, the results generated by our talent kept him in a good position. We never felt we had the tools to speak and be respected because of the influence and power of this person in our lives. he was authoritarian, “they conclude.
The document was signed, in addition to Castellanos, by Lourdes Moreno, Gabriela García, María Gabriela García, Hilary Vergara, Sandra Luzardo, Michelle Romero, Fatima Lobo, Franyely Rodríguez Nikol González, Camila Pescatore and Daniuksa Rodríguez. The list of signatories is completed by Yuliana Caile, Alexandra Canaguacan, Génesis Flores, Alexa Castro, Yohanli Mujica, Bárbara Serrano, Tahicelis Marcano, Heliamar Alvarado, Yailyn Medina, Nathalie Pasquel, Icéis Briceño and Dayana Rodríguez.