Four years after coming forward about systemic abuse in Canadian soccer, Ciara McCormack has become the first female co-owner and CEO of a League of Ireland club

When Ciara McCormack finished her testimony before a Canadian parliamentary committee hearing on safe sport last April, she decided to buy a soccer team. It was not a spur-of-the-moment decision. For over a decade, the former Vancouver Whitecaps player and Republic of Ireland international had fought to highlight abuse and cover-ups at the highest level of Canadian soccer.

Some people listened to McCormack and her fellow players. Others didn’t. Or if they did listen, they decided everything was OK. Or decided institutions must be protected above the welfare of people. With the exception of police reopening an investigation into former Vancouver Whitecaps and Canada national youth coach Bob Birarda that led to multiple sex offence charges, a guilty plea and jail time, not much changed. The system remained intact and enablers dodged accountability.

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