The head coach of the Zambian women’s national team is known to sleep with players


The head coach of the Zambian women’s national team, Bruce Mwape, is accused of engaging in inappropriate sexual behavior with the female players on his team. This scandal erupted just before the opening ceremony of the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup, which is taking place in Australia and New Zealand, and Zambia is one of the participating teams.


Zambia is one of the four African women’s teams participating in the World Cup, placed in Group C alongside Spain, Japan, and Costa Rica, and their matches will be held in New Zealand. Bruce Mwape was hailed as a hero in Zambian football for helping the women’s national team secure their first-ever qualification for the World Cup. He was appointed as head coach in May 2018, with complete authority over player selection, exclusion, and utilization. Consequently, he held significant power over the female players.

However, as the opening ceremony of the 2023 Women’s World Cup approaches, Bruce Mwape has emerged before FIFA and the world as a sexual offender, specifically abusing his own female players. This has been happening not just on one or two occasions, but over an extended period of time.

Bruce Mwape

Currently, Bruce Mwape is under investigation for allegations related to sexual misconduct, abuse of power for personal satisfaction, and coercion of victims to conceal information. However, the truth has come to light. Reports accusing him of sexual assault within the Zambian women’s national team have emerged since last year.

The Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) stated that in September 2022, they launched an investigation into allegations of sexual abuse in women’s matches and reported it to FIFA; the world governing body of football. Mwape and U17 coach Kaluba Kangwa were among those from FAZ who were being investigated.

U17 coach Kaluba Kangwa

FAZ had credible evidence provided by the victims and their acquaintances, and they had no doubts. An anonymous Zambian female national team player stated, “If he [Mwape] wants to sleep with someone, that person has to agree. It’s normal for our coach to sleep with players on our team.”

A source revealed that the players had received threats, not directly from Mwape himself. “They are being threatened with punishment if they dare to speak about what has happened. The Zambian Football Association is turning a blind eye because of the historic achievement of participating in the World Cup for the first time.”

Perhaps they see Mwape as a national hero, and the girls on the national team are considered rewards for him. This is how Zambian sports officials exploit the achievements of female players to showcase their success to the public and the country’s leadership while hiding a dark and dirty backstage.

Mwape responded by redirecting questions about the allegations to the FAZ press office. The spokesperson for FAZ was asked by The Guardian (UK) whether they had received any complaints regarding Mwape’s behavior after their statement in September 2022.

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“Although we don’t have any formal complaints from anyone regarding these allegations, we consider them very serious and have initiated an investigation into this matter,” said Adrian Kashala, the General Secretary of FAZ, in a statement. “We will cooperate with the Zambian police and other relevant parties to resolve this issue.”

According to FAZ President Andrew Kamanga, the investigation has been passed on to the police and FIFA to ensure transparency and clarity. “We want an independent body like FIFA to step in and ensure objectivity. Once there is a conclusion, we will certainly take appropriate action. We have enough rules and regulations in football to deal with this issue.”

It is understood that FIFA is aware of the allegations against Mwape and has contacted FAZ to investigate. However, a FIFA spokesperson stated that they cannot comment on ongoing investigations.

Regardless of the truth and when it will be disclosed, it is truly regrettable. The Women’s World Cup is a sporting event that aims to honor female footballers as well as female athletes and women worldwide. However, even before it begins, incidents and information about abuse and sexual assault have surfaced, tarnishing its beautiful spirit.

Sexual abuse targeting female athletes is unfortunately prevalent worldwide. Even in advanced sporting nations like Europe and the United States, scandals related to sexual misconduct continuously arise. It is not confined to underdeveloped sporting nations alone.

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