U.S. soccer president tells CNN more misconduct cases reported
Bennett is under pressure from U.S. Soccer to make more changes to an organization he oversees after an ongoing investigation by United States Soccer Federation into abuse allegations made against several national team players. The investigation was announced last week but has faced a deluge of new allegations since then, raising concerns about where he might go to rebuild U.S. Soccer.
“Today, I want to give you my most sincere apology and I want to make it clear that the allegations made against former United States national team players will not distract from what we need to do to rebuild the U.S. Soccer program,” Bennett said in his opening statement to the media on Thursday, per the Washington Post.
“We need to ensure that the game, the community and our players are completely safe and well.”
His comments come days after U.S. Soccer said it had investigated a number of cases of abuse that allegedly took place at the club or on team trips prior to the 2016 World Cup.
On Tuesday, the U.S. Soccer Federation released details of a new investigation conducted by Michael Garcia, deputy administrator from the federation’s legal counsel office. That report found a separate abuse case involving an 11-year-old boy, which had also apparently taken place prior to the 2016 World Cup and which the federation chose not to pursue, according to the Post.
Those two cases along with the eight previously reported cases, the Post reported Wednesday, resulted in the federation’s investigation.
Bennett apologized to all the families still affected by the abuse allegations at the World Cup but said he had no plans to resign.
“While the events that led to me leaving my position as president of U.S. Soccer are in the past, I am focused on taking further actions to ensure that the current and future players, coaches and staff are properly supported and treated with compassion and decency,” he said in his statement.