Ireland women’s Dutch coach Vera Bauff confirmed on Friday that she was raped and sexually harassed as a young woman by three men working in Dutch football.
Bauff, 59, is one of the pioneers of women’s football in the Netherlands.
“For 35 years I have kept this a secret from the rest of the world, my family, my teammates and my players,” she wrote in a statement posted on Twitter.
“Even my loved ones do not know about this rape committed by an important football official when I was a young player. Later, I was the target of two more attacks by two other men. All three were working in Dutch football at the time. .”
“Only those I trust have known until today about the systematic sexual harassment, abuse of power, bullying, intimidation and exclusion that I have experienced as a player and coach of the Netherlands national football team,” said Bauff, who received an honorary award from the Dutch Football Association in 2017.
“Over the past few years, I have tried to ensure a fair and impartial investigation of this case by the Dutch football authorities, but to no avail. Some people have chosen not to publicize this rape and sexual harassment than to give me the support I need to speak out” about this story .
“I can no longer remain silent,” Bauff said, announcing that she had filed a complaint with the Dutch police.
Bauf’s comments led to an apology from the Dutch Football Association, which found it “unacceptable that you are not benefiting from a safe working environment”.