Vera Pauw has once more been forced to deny accusations made anonymously concerning her season as Head Coach at Houston Dash in the United States in 2018.

They first surfaced as a sidebar to a report outlining serious misconduct and abuse across the sport in America published last December.

Now the same allegations, with no more weight or individual accuser than there was then have been republished in a headline grabbing article in the otherwise highly respected The Athletic.

It says that the accusations are of aggressive behaviour, with the only physical element being a holding of a shoulder. The same stretch of credibility of one player developing an eating disorder being laid at Pauw’s door has been rehashed and pushed the performance of the manager and team into the shadows once more.

They are riddled with inconsistency based on having seen her at work here since taking on the Republic of Ireland role in 2019.

She has been backed once more by the FAI and by the players in the squad, a number of whom play in the United States and one of whom, Sinéad Farrelly, spent eight years out of the game having been a victim herself of abuse and standing up to make that right for others.

One of the accusing players, labelled throughout only as players A,B,C and D says that she is mad at herself for not standing up at the time, while still seemingly unwilling to do so now, without recognising the irony in that.

The Athletic article is long and thorough in the accusations but completely empty in terms of any real proof.

And even if there was a difference in how a European coach might be perceived by American players, there is no recognition of the fact that were this to have been the case in a men’s team, with a male coach it would have been seen as completely normal.

How would the idea of coaching muscle memory by physically moving players into positions be viewed? What on earth would they have thought of infamous dressing room scenes where voices were raised and occasional boots or crockery thrown in the direction of players.

Pauw is already consulting with Lawyers across the Atlantic to bring about closure on the original report. Now three weeks before going to the World Cup she has to go through it all again.

It is depressing to have to write this, even if only to show support for her, but once it is out there it develops legs and changes people’s opinions. The story has featured prominently this afternoon on the BBC website and is going to hang around deep into the preparation period for the World Cup.

We completely accept the benefit that can accrue from a whistleblower culture where serious abuse has been suggested and the identity of the accuser needs to be protected for their own safety.

That is not the case in this. It is the story of one coaches methods obviously being disliked and a vendetta being pursued to take her down without anything like the level of proof that would be needed in any formal investigation.

That is shoddy journalism. Those who have enabled the story resurface have chosen clicks over consideration of an individual’s right to a fair hearing.