Chelsea, Aston Villa & Reading link arms to unite with NWSL players over allegations

Arsenal and Everton was one of four fixtures where players from opposing teams linked arms before the game
Arsenal and Everton was one of four fixtures where players from opposing teams linked arms before the game

Women's Super League teams showed solidarity before their matches on Sunday with players in the United States who have made sexual misconduct allegations against a coach.

Chelsea's squad and staff linked arms before they faced Leicester City.

Players from opposing teams at four other games joined each other in the centre circle before kick-off.

NWSL team North Carolina Courage sacked English head coach Paul Riley following the allegations, which he denies.

On Wednesday, NWSL players halted matches in their own displays of unity.

A previous round of games in the league was suspended, while league commissioner Lisa Baird resigned.

Chelsea players and coaches link arms
Chelsea's squad and coaching team joined arms before kick-off on Sunday

Earlier this week Portland Thorns, who Riley previously managed, announced general manager Gavin Wilkinson had been placed on administrative leave.

The Thorns previously apologised for their lack of transparency after receiving a complaint about Riley in 2015.

The NWSL, US Soccer and world football governing body Fifa are to conduct separate investigations into the allegations.

Displays of unity were shown in games between Arsenal and Everton, Brighton and Tottenham, Reading and Aston Villa, and West Ham and Birmingham.

While Chelsea's squad and coaching team joined arms before kick-off on Sunday, Leicester opted to applaud the gesture.

"We know that the FA are planning something on a bigger stage and we just thought it'd be more appropriate to show more solidarity on the biggest stage where it's more powerful," said Foxes boss Jonathan Morgan.external-link

Reading and Aston Villa players linked arms
Reading and Aston Villa players linked arms
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