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WWC: Zambia coach accused of ‘rubbing player’s breasts’ as FIFA launch investigation

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Zambia manager Bruce Mwape is being investigated by FIFA after he was accused of rubbing a player’s chest following a training session at the Women’s World Cup.

A complaint was made to world football’s governing body after the African nation secured its first ever victory at the tournament by beating Costa Rica on Monday.

The alleged incident took place after Zambia’s training session on Friday 28 July, according to The Guardian, with a source close to the squad claiming that several players saw Mwape rubbing his hands over the chest of one of their team-mates. Witnesses were said to have discussed the possibility of reporting it immediately but ended up waiting until after Monday’s game out of fear that they would not be selected.

Andrew Kamanga, president of the Football Association of Zambia (FAZ), is thought to be aware of the incident after it was reported to a FIFA delegate who had been with the squad throughout their Women’s World Cup campaign. Express Sport have approached the FAZ for comment but the governing body is yet to respond.

A FIFA spokesperson said: “FIFA takes any allegation of misconduct extremely seriously and has a clear process in place for anyone in football who wants to report an incident. We can confirm that a complaint has been received in relation to the Zambian women’s national team and this is currently being investigated.

“We cannot provide further details regarding an ongoing investigation for obvious confidentiality reasons. Anyone who wishes to report allegations or information related to abuse in football can do so via FIFA’s confidential reporting platform, with all information that is submitted to FIFA handled in the strictest of confidence.

“In addition, FIFA offers support and assistance to ensure the safety of those who report a safeguarding issue, including witnesses who come forward and give testimony in FIFA judicial cases. Where guilt is established, FIFA takes the strongest possible sanctions, including removing people from the game for life. Our track record demonstrates this.”

Meanwhile, the FAZ told the BBC: “All the training sessions for the Copper Queens [Zambia] were filmed by the FAZ media team and offers no such footage. Additionally, a FIFA film crew attached to the Zambian team at the World Cup was present at all training sessions.

The alleged incident was said to have taken place before Zambia’s group stage win over Costa Rica.
“We, however, wish to reassure the public that FAZ maintains the highest standards of integrity and transparency and always demands unwavering ethical conduct of the players and officials on and off the field of play.

“We, therefore, would not hesitate to take disciplinary measures and act on any misconduct once we are in receipt of an official complaint or when presented with evidence pertaining to an alleged incident.”

Mwape was also the subject of sexual misconduct allegations before the start of the Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand but has denied the claims. A player who wished to remain anonymous told The Guardian last month: “If he [Mwape] wants to sleep with someone, you have to say yes. It’s normal that the coach sleeps with the players in our team.”

The Zambia boss was then quizzed on those allegations prior to their second group stage match against Spain before a FIFA media officer stepped in and said: “I’ll ask you to restrict the questions to the football and to the tournament only.”

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F1 great Hamilton kept his Ferrari move so quiet even his parents didn’t know

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Formula 1 great Lewis Hamilton kept his Ferrari move so closely guarded that he didn’t even tell his parents until the day it was announced.

The British driver rocked the F1 world when it was announced on Feb. 1 he was joining the Italian manufacturer next year, despite signing a new contract with Mercedes last summer.

“I didn’t speak to anybody. I didn’t tell my parents till the day of it being announced. So, no one knew,” Hamilton told a BBC podcast. “I really wanted to do it for myself. Ultimately, I had to find out what would be the best for me.”

It then emerged that the two-year deal penned with Mercedes and announced last August was actually for one year with an option for a second year, which Hamilton did not take.

Hamilton informed Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff of his decision to leave only the day before over breakfast at Wolff’s home. They have become close friends over the years after Hamilton joined Mercedes from McLaren in 2013.

The 39-year-old Hamilton and Michael Schumacher have a record seven F1 titles each, and Hamilton is the outright leader with 103 race wins and 104 pole positions.

Hamilton has spoken in the past of the lure of racing with Ferrari, where Schumacher won five of his world titles.

“I mean, the opportunity just popped up and I was like, ‘OK, I’ve got to think for a second,’” Hamilton said. “(But) I didn’t have a lot of time to think and I had to just go with my gut feeling and I decided to take the opportunity.”

Hamilton begins his last season with Mercedes on Saturday at the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix.

His last win was at the Saudi Arabian GP in the penultimate race of the 2021 campaign, where Max Verstappen won the first of his three straight titles with Red Bull.

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The nominees for 2024 Laureus Sports Awards

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Manchester City star Erling Haaland, athletics speedster Sha’Carri Richardson, and Ivory Coast football star Sébastien Haller are among the nominees for the 2024 Laureus Sports Awards.

The Laureus Sports Awards is the most prestigious honour given to sportsmen and women in recognition of an iconic season, and those shortlisted for this year’s honours have done exceptionally well in their various fields.

Football star Haaland, in contention for Sportsman of the Year, scored 52 goals in 53 games during his debut season as City completed the Treble by winning the Premier League, FA Cup and Champions League.

Track star Richardson is shortlisted for the Sportswoman of the Year after an exceptional season that saw her become the world’s fastest woman by winning the 100m title at the World Championships in Budapest.

Tennis youngster Gauff made the nomination list for Breakthrough of the Year for her gallant efforts last season, highlighted by winning her first Grand Slam title at the US Open.

Also in this category is Real Madrid football star Jude Bellingham, who at age 20, has become a key player for Real Madrid following his 103m euro (£89m) move from Borussia Dortmund last summer, scoring 20 goals in 29 games this season.

Newly crowned AFCON 2023 champion Sébastien Haller is shortlisted in the Comeback of the Year category for his valiant efforts at fighting cancer and coming back to help Ivory Coast become African Champions for the third time in the country’s history.

Here’s the full list of nominees for the 2024 Laureus Sports Awards.

Sportsman of the Year

Novak Djokovic (Serbia) – tennis

Mondo Duplantis (Sweden) – athletics

Erling Haaland (Norway) – football

Noah Lyles (USA) – athletics

Lionel Messi (Argentina) – football

Max Verstappen (Netherlands) – motor racing

Sportswoman of the year

Aitana Bonmati (Spain) – football

Shericka Jackson (Jamaica) – athletics

Faith Kipyegon (Kenya) – athletics

Sha’Carri Richardson (USA) – athletics

Mikaela Shiffrin (USA) – skiing

Iga Swiatek (Poland) – tennis

Team of the year

European Ryder Cup Team – golf

Germany men – basketball

Manchester City – football

Red Bull – Formula 1

South Africa – rugby

Spain women – football

Breakthrough of the year

Jude Bellingham (GB) – football

Linda Caicedo (Colombia) – football

Coco Gauff (USA) – tennis

Qin Haiyang (China) – swimming

Josh Kerr (UK) – athletics

Salma Paralluelo (Spain) – football

Comeback of the year

Simone Biles (USA) – gymnastics

Sébastien Haller (Ivory Coast) – football

Katarina Johnson-Thompson (UK) – athletics

Siya Kolisi (South Africa) – rugby

Jamal Murray (Canada) – basketball

Marketa Vondrousova (Czech Republic) – tennis

Sportsperson of the year with a disability

Simone Barlaam (Italy) – swimming

Danylo Chufarov (Ukraine) – swimming

Diede de Groot (Netherlands) – tennis

Luca Ekler (Hungary) – athletics

Nicole Murray (New Zealand) – cycling

Markus Rehm (Germany) – athletics

Action sportsperson of the year

Rayssa Leal (Brazil) – skateboarding

Caroline Marks (USA) – surfing

Kirsten Neuschafer (South Africa) – sailing

Bethany Shriever (GB) – BMX

Filipe Toledo (Brazil) – surfing

Arisa Trew (Australia) – skateboarding

Sport for good

Bola Pra Frente (Brazil) multi-sport & employability

Dancing Grounds (USA) – dancing & social integration

Fundacion Rafa Nadal (Spain) – tennis & education

ISF Cambodia – football & education

Justice Desk Africa (South Africa) – multi-sport & human rights

Obiettivo Napoli (Italy) – multi-sport & inclusion

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South Africa boss Ellis sets sight on Super Falcons clash

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Banyana Banyana of South Africa head coach Desiree Ellis has warned her side against complacency as they bid to set up a clash with eternal rivals, Nigeria.

The Super Falcons defeated Cameroon 1-0 in Abuja on Monday to earn a place in the final round of the 2024 Olympic Games qualifiers.

The African champions will take on Tanzania in the return leg of the third round fixture on Tuesday (today).

Banyana Banyana defeated Tanzania 3-0 away in the first leg last Friday.

Jermaine Seopesenwe, Thembi Kgatlana and Hildah Magaia were on target for the reigning African champions in the game.

The reverse fixture is expected to be an easy affair for South Africa but Ellis is not ready to take anything for granted.

“We have to finish the job back home. We don’t want to become complacent. The next goal in the match could change things,” Ellis told CAFonline.

 

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