Zambian captain Barbra Banda refused to comment on allegations of sexual misconduct against manager Bruce Mwape on Wednesday.
"I am not in the position of answering that because I am just a player," Banda told reporters during a traditional Maori welcoming ceremony for the Zambian team in Hamilton, New Zealand.
The Shanghai Shengli forward said that her job is "to be on the pitch". Mwape was present at the event, but did not speak to the media.
Zambia soccer association president Andrew Kamanga confirmed in a message to The Associated Press on Sunday that allegations of sexual misconduct were referred to FIFA and Zambian police last year and said it was “an old story.” Kamanga didn’t name any of the people facing allegations of wrongdoing.
In line with protocol, FIFA said its independent ethics committee would not comment on whether or not there was an investigation underway. The zambian association also said it launched its own investigation last year but didn’t name any officials, coaches or players involved at the time.
Zambia will make their World Cup debut against former champions Japan in their Group C opener on 22 July in Hamilton, New Zealand. The men’s team has never made it to the World Cup.