In a text published on social networks, 24 Venezuelan players pointed out Kenneth Zseremeta of abuse and physical, psychological and sexual harassment
CARACAS – A group of 24 Venezuelan soccer players denounced this Tuesday the former national coach Kenneth 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 the soccer coach Kenneth Zseremeta from taking more victims in women’s soccer and in the world “, reads a statement released by the player Deyna Castellanos.
In it, they state that “from 2013 to 2017, numerous incidents arose around the figure of the coach. Zseremeta, the most common as physical and psychological abuse during training. “
“Many of us continue with trauma and mental injuries that accompany us in our day to day,” they say.
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”, an abuse 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 every 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 partner 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 bullying, both by phone and inappropriate questions and invitations, bribes to stay within the selection, gifts out of context, massages and different situations that were definitely not normal. “
The 24 emphasized that, “although it sounds crazy”, for them it was “normal” for their coach to “give his opinion, comment and ask us about our sexuality and intimacy, even when we are minors.”
SITUATIONS SUPPORTED BY THE TECHNICAL STAFF
“Many of these 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. Players from the LGBTI community were constantly questioned about their sexual orientation and harassment towards heterosexual players was constant “, they emphasize.
Also “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 sexual innuendos were everyday issues, 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 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.