The Dutch football association (KNVB) has stated that they were shocked when they learned of Vera Pauw's traumatic experiences as a young player, and said that they were sorry that she did not experience a safe working environment and for the impact that it has caused her.

The Ireland manager released a statement on Friday alleging that she was raped as a young player in the Netherlands and revealed she had suffered abuse and serious sexual assault during her time as a player and coach in Dutch football.

A statement released by KNVB reveals that an investigation was conducted by independent research agency, Verinorm, at Pauw's request, following a conversation with the Ireland manager in 2021, which stated "at the KNVB we are very shocked by the experiences from a not recent past that Vera Pauw told us about in a conversation last year.

"The KNVB should have approached a number of issues differently. For example, in the past Vera was unfortunately confronted with a number of (estimation) errors and harmful comments from (former) KNVB employees. Verinorm has also found through the investigation that there was no plan or policy of the KNVB behind this."

The statement also added that "the KNVB was not sufficiently alert to Vera's first signals in 2011 about sexually transgressive behaviour. The report states that these signals were veiled, but that should not be an excuse if such a theme comes up in any way. The KNVB did not react sharply enough to this at the time".

"We acknowledge the errors identified in the report and should not have happened to her," continued the statement.

"It is unacceptable that Vera did not experience the safe working environment to which she was entitled at the time.

"In personal contact with Vera, we have experienced that this situation unfortunately has a lot of impact on her and we are sorry for that.

"We want to discuss the recommendations from the report internally and with Vera as soon as possible, but very carefully so that we can take action. Also with a view to recovery mediation."