Players of the Venezuelan women’s soccer team denounced their former coach for abuse

Kenneth Zseremeta was coach of the Venezuelan women’s soccer team (Getty Images)

Soccer in Venezuela cannot get out of the impact: several players denounced the coach Kenneth Zseremeta for “physical, psychological and sexual abuse”. Deyna Castellanos, Lourdes Moreno, Gabriela García, among other representatives of the Vinotinto team made public a letter in which they disclosed the strong accusations to the 55-year-old DT who was in charge of the Venezuelan youth from 2013 to 2017.

Regarding the complaint made against him, part of the brief states that “Last year (2020) one of our teammates confessed to us that she had been sexually abused since she was 14 years old (2014) by coach Kenneth Zseremeta. This abuse lasted until he was fired (2017). His accomplice in all this is Williams Pino “.

In the letter published on various social networks, the players indicated that the alleged abuse and harassment occurred since many of them came under the orders of the Panamanian coach when the players were 14 years old.

In the aforementioned letter, they noted that the sporting successes that occurred in the Zseremeta process were thanks to them. In addition, they assured that the DT was also a manipulator and that they only made the complaint four years after his departure from office, due to the revelation of his partner, whose name they preferred to preserve.

Kenneth Zseremeta spent four years in charge of the female youth teams in Venezuela (The Grosby Group)
Kenneth Zseremeta spent four years in charge of the female youth teams in Venezuela (The Grosby Group)

In the letter, it was stated that Zseremeta made comments and opinions regarding the sexuality and privacy of the players, even when they were minors. At the same time, many of these behaviors were under the gaze of the team’s coaching staff.

Likewise, it was pointed out that LGTBI players were constantly questioned by the coach. “There were threats and manipulations to tell the parents of the players about their sexual orientation if they did not have discipline or performed as they should,” the letter reads.

The players asked FIFA, the Confederations, Federations and Leagues not to allow Zseremeta to continue as a women’s soccer coach. “As players we will not be silent anymore, but we need the support of all these institutions,” the statement said. This is because it is possible that the coach born in Panama will lead again in the short term: he is close to being the new coach of the Ecuadorian Under-17 team.

The affected players requested respect for their privacy and reported that they will not comment further on the matter.

It should be remembered that the strategist was fired in 2017 by the Venezuelan federation, just days after the DT reported that some of the players on the squad suffer from “malnutrition for the crisis that plagues the country. The explanation in a statement was “in view of the fact that the results obtained in official and friendly tournaments during the preparation cycle for the South American (U-20) category, qualifying for the World Cup, they have not been as expected”.

During his career with the Venezuelan women’s team, the Panamanian DT classified the girls to three U-17 World Cups (2010, 2013 and 2016), won gold in the Central American and Caribbean Games (2010) and got second place in the Bolivarian Games of 2009.