FIFA investigating sexual harassment claims against Avram Grant

Channel 12's "Exposure" program published testimonies by a number of women who alleged that Grant sexually harassed them.

 Israeli soccer coach Avram Grant (photo credit: REUTERS/AMR ABDALLAH DALSH)
Israeli soccer coach Avram Grant
(photo credit: REUTERS/AMR ABDALLAH DALSH)

FIFA's ethics committee is looking into allegations that former Israeli soccer coach Avram Grant sexually harassed a number of woman, the Associated Press reported on Monday.

Channel 12's "Exposure" program published testimonies by a number of women who alleged that Grant tried to hug and kiss them and to coerce them into sex. The alleged harassment goes back as far as 20 years ago, according to the report.

“Given the nature of the allegations being made, FIFA’s ethics committee will look into the matter,” FIFA said in a statement to the Associated Press. “When it comes to misconduct and abuse in football, we wish to reiterate that FIFA takes any allegations reported to it very seriously.”

Grant has served as the coach of Israel's national team and as the manager of the Chelsea soccer club during his long career. He recently coached a team of world legends in a showcase match at the FIFA Arab Cup starring former soccer players from Arab countries and around the world.

 FIFA Arab Cup - Qatar 2021 (credit: REUTERS/IBRAHEEM AL OMARI) FIFA Arab Cup - Qatar 2021 (credit: REUTERS/IBRAHEEM AL OMARI)

In response to the allegations, Grant told N12 "I am a people person, a man of friendships, and over the years I have maintained relationships with women. In all these relationships I have tried very hard to treat them with respect and friendship and I never intended to behave unfairly or in any way harm any woman. Anyone who has felt uncomfortable or hurt by me, I am sorry for that and apologize from the bottom of my heart."