Ricardo La Volpe was fired by Chivas Guadalajara last week, although the reason for his termination was not initially clear. The club stated that he was not fired for poor results, but for unspecified misconduct not in accordance with team policy. Since then, it has been revealed that La Volpe has been accused of sexual harassment by a female employee, and Mexican outlet Record has obtained a copy of the criminal complaint against him.
In the complaint, Chivas' club podiatrist alleges that La Volpe came in for a massage, wearing only a towel. She claims that he made multiple inappropriate comments, and at one point grabbed her arm and tried to force her to touch his genitals. The day after the incident, the alleged victim told players and assistant coaches about what had happened, and was told they would support her if she went forward to management. She also claims that La Volpe asked her to lie about the incident and that she refused.
On Friday, La Volpe refuted the accusations against him, though he had not seen his accuser's complaint at the time. "In my own way of correcting it, I went to see her and confirmed she did give massages — not where you are thinking, which is nonsense — but to the knees of the players," he said. "I saw she was using arnica ointment ... and I said it wasn't permitted. The complaint ended there and I left. I want to hear from the young woman, and I want to see her complaint."
If anything comes of the criminal investigation, La Volpe's coaching career at the highest level of the game in the Americas is probably over. And even if he's never charged with a crime, his reputation could be damaged irreparably. It's a messy situation for everyone.