Matildas players have suffered “heinous” abuse on social media following allegations of sexual abuse and harassment in women’s football, their union said.
Matilda’s grown-up Lisa De Vanna has alleged that she suffered sexual harassment, abuse and same-sex bullying during her decorated 150-game international career between 2001 and 2019.
Former W-League mainstay Rhali Dobson has also claimed she has been the target of sexual harassment during her career.
Football Australia, Professional Footballers Australia and Sport Integrity Australia have since opened investigations into the allegations while current Matildas players issued a collective statement on Monday.
The PFA said after the allegations were published last week, its members – including former Matildas and ex-Matildas – had been heavily targeted by social media abuse.
The union said this included homophobic abuse, threats and image-based abuse in the form of private images being circulated without players’ consent.
“To date, much of what we’ve seen on social media and directed at current and former players is heinous and has no place in society anywhere,” said PFA co-CEO. , Kathryn Gill.
“This targeted and despicable behavior is unacceptable and must be denounced.
“We will continue to work with the authorities and will not hesitate to involve the police as needed, especially in cases classified as criminal.
“The continuation of this targeted abuse exacerbates the damage and will also be a barrier for those who come forward.”
The PFA is working with the Office of the Online Safety Commissioner to ensure players have the resources to report and address any online abuse, while those affected by the abuse have received support and advice. ” access to confidential advice.
The union also reported any inappropriate images on social media.
“Many people in our football community have approached us with concern about the disturbing activities of certain anonymous social media accounts that engage in inappropriate social media posts,” said a spokesperson for Football Australia.
“We are closely monitoring the activities of these accounts, including potentially defamatory comments, and have reported and will continue to report the activities of concern to the appropriate authorities.”