September 5 – Slovenia’s Borut Jarc has stood down as head coach of Slovenia women’s national team after widespread allegations of bullying, body-shaming and sexism by him and his coaching staff. Jarc denies any wrongdoing.
In a statement on the website of the Slovenian Football Association (NZS), Jarc explained his resignation on the eve of the Nations League. The players accused the head coach of creating a toxic and unprofessional climate at national team camps.
“I would like to emphasize that throughout my mandate I acted in accordance with my best knowledge and belief and with the aim of leading the national team correctly, with the aim of achieving the best possible results,” wrote Jarc. “I also want to categorically deny all the accusations that have hurt me personally. I want to emphasize that I have always acted morally and in accordance with ethical principles.”
In an open letter earlier this summer, the players detailed the bullying, inappropriate language, sexism, racism and body-shaming they faced during Jarc’s reign. Their allegations included “inappropriate comments from the head coach”, such as ‘You play like wild pigs,’ ‘Your mother’s pussy’, and ‘I see your mom’.
“The coaching staff also interferes with our personal lives, including our choice of partners, leading to inappropriate, homophobic, and even racist comments,” read the letter. “We have experienced demeaning treatment regarding our body weight in front of the entire team and coaching staff. At one point, we were required to evaluate our own body weight with a ‘thumbs up’ or ‘thumbs down’ gesture…
“The national team’s staff has pushed players to such an extent that some of us have sought professional psychological help.”
In a reaction, the NZS backed the coaching staff and commented that the players did not have decision-making power, but with the international window coming up later this month the association and Jarc have parted ways.
On September 22, Slovenia kick off their Nations League campaign against the Czech Republic before travelling to Bosnia & Herzegovina four days later.
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