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Manchester United have apologised after inviting former women’s coach and convicted paedophile Geoff Konopka to a women’s fixture at Old Trafford last year.
This has been revealed by Charlie Parker of The Times, who has explained that Geoff Konopka attended a female fixture at Old Trafford last year.
Konopka was manager of Manchester United Ladies between 1983 and 2001, and is said to have abused young girls – he was sentenced to prison for four years and put on the sex offenders’ register for a decade in 2011.
Konopka was convicted of 19 offences of indecent assault and gross indecency against girls aged under 16 and 14.
The report explains that the club “commemorated his career and featured him in a display at the Old Trafford Museum”, and have since responded to the revelations, claiming they were unaware.
Konopka was the club’s “special guest” during a Women’s Super League fixture against Everton at Old Trafford in March 2022.
The club explained to The Times that they express their “heartfelt sympathy to the victims and all those affected by these abhorrent crimes”, and further confirmed that they “will have no further connection” with Konopka and have contacted legal and football authorities “as a matter of urgency”.
As explained in Parker’s article, the club published promotional material on their website celebrating Konopka in July, with The Times speaking to several former players from the United Ladies squad, who say they expressed their “shock” and “disgust” at seeing him “paraded hand-in-hand with Manchester United” in emails to the club’s safeguarding co-ordinator.
The former players have demanded “a public apology from the club for presenting Konopka as the ‘hero’ behind their sporting achievements” – Parker explains that the team were one of the first female teams to ever play at Wembley Stadium and won multiple trophies.
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