FIFA: Victim of sexual harassment still doesn't know if top official has been punished

FIFA

A former junior staff member for FIFA says she is still unsure if the organisation leader who sexually harassed her has been punished for his actions.

According to the New York Times, the woman in question, whose allegations were substantiated by a FIFA mediator, detailed the inappropriate behaviour by Portuguese sports agent Miguel Macedo –– a long-term ally of FIFA President Gianni Infantino.

Macedo has proven himself as a valuable asset to Infantino and controls the ‘FIFA Legends’ program, which is made up of a plethora of world-famous former players turned FIFA representatives.

The victim moved to Macedo’s ‘Legends’ team in 2018 from the organisations’ legal department.

That same year, the woman was subject to numerous incidents of sexual misconduct, including comments on how she should dress and flirtatious text messages.

On one occasion, the accuser says Macedo instructed her to come to his hotel room in the early hours of one morning, while another time saw him touch her on the buttocks and make provocative remarks at the end of her performance review.

“For me, that was one of the worst days,” she stressed.

Despite vocalising Macedo’s actions to FIFA’s human resources chief Kimberly Morris, her concerns were not taken seriously.

FIFA President

Similarly, after meeting with chief member associations officer Joyce Cook, who began the process of investigating the complaint, months passed and no action was seemingly taken.

Indeed, the New York Times reveals details of an email sent by the woman to Cook, which reads: “I just want to inform you that Miguel Macedo came back to the office surprisingly today and it is becoming quite unbearable for me to be here. I don’t know how we can continue in this unhealthy environment any longer.”

Eventually, a mediator for FIFA named Nirmala Dias produced a report emphasising there was enough documentary evidence to prove the woman’s claims.

It also outlined that the woman was offered assurances she would receive a permanent position elsewhere in the company. Yet, no such offer ever came.

FIFA

A year after the formal complaint, a committee, consisting of Morris, FIFA’s legal head Emilio Garcia and another lawyer spoke with the complainant, Macedo, and a witness.

Fast forward to the present day and neither the witness nor the woman in question are still at FIFA. Macedo, however, remains a part of the organisation.

The woman has written to FIFA to ask whether Macedo has been sanctioned in any way. As of now, she has yet to receive a reply.

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