Football World Cup: Sexual misconduct scandal hovers over Zambia before NZ, Australia tournament

Zambia's arrival at their first FIFA Women's Football World Cup has been shrouded in controversy, after allegations of sexual misconduct against their head coach. 

Bruce Mwabe has been among members of the team welcomed onto Turangawaewae Marae this morning, but refused to answer questions from media.

The Zambian women's football team have accepted their first challenge of the tournament, welcomed onto the marae with a powhiri. Among them was underfire coach Mwape.

The Guardian has quoted an unnamed player saying: "If he [Mwape[ wants to sleep with someone, you have to say yes.

"It's normal that the coach sleeps with the players in our team."

Mwape has refused to answer questions relating to the allegations and his captain has deflected them too.

"On that, I'm not in a position of answering, because I'm just a player and my job is to be on the pitch, not on the technical side," said Barbra Banda.

In a brief statement to Newshub, FIFA outlined: "As a general policy, the independent ethics committee does not comment on whether or not investigations are underway. 

Zambia celebrate their shock victory over Germany
Zambia celebrate their shock victory over Germany. Photo credit: Getty Images

"Any information the ethics committee may like to share will be communicated at their discretion."

The scandal overshadows a phenomenal build-up to the World Cup for the 77th-ranked nation, who beat two-time world champions and current world No.2 Germany 3-2 on the weekend.

Banda says morale is high, as they prepare for their first Group C match against Japan in 10 days.