Edinburgh women's rugby team disbanded amid claims of misogyny, racism and homophobia

Rugby club disbands women’s team

An Edinburgh rugby club has disbanded its women’s team amid claims of misogyny, after bosses told players they could no longer support ‘additional needs’.

Liberton F.P R.F.C announced on Monday that the women’s team had to hang up their boots after being told by the club that the committee ruled providing a coach was ‘beyond the scope’ of support they could give a developing team.

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But players from the team hit back at bosses saying they had already found a coach, as well as secured sponsorship, and led on match day pitch set-up, catering and administration. It comes as the Women’s Six Nations is due to kick off and many of the Scotland Women’s rugby team have been awarded professional contracts.

Liberton F.P R.F.C women's team were disbanded by the club

Players issued a damning statement on social media claiming the women’s team representation on the committee at the club had already been cut in half recently. They said they had faced misogynistic, racist and homophobic comments and behaviour. It is alleged that players had raised concerns with management over the years but these had been dismissed.

Furious players said that the growth of grassroots women’s rugby was being ‘threatened’. They issued a call to the Scottish Rugby Union and World Rugby to provide more support to build clubs that are inclusive and welcoming. One claimed the club was ‘anti-women’s rugby’.

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Management is accused of failing to resolve problems after a suggestion from the women’s team to introduce a welfare representative was met with ‘significant resistance’.

A statement on Facebook read: "The women’s team have faced incidents of misogynistic, racist and homophobic comments and behaviour from the committee and other individuals at the club. Those affected do not feel the matters were dealt with in an appropriate manner, nor were they resolved. The lack of diversity among the leadership at the club has created blind spots that mean many decisions made by the committee are not inclusive or representative of the needs of many of the club’s members. We would like to take this opportunity to thank the members of the club, including the men’s team, for their time and support over the last eight years.”

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Liberton F.P R.F.C has been contacted for comment.