Paul Riley had been head coach of the North Carolina Courage since 2017

National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) side North Carolina Courage have sacked English head coach Paul Riley following allegations of sexual misconduct.

The claims were made following an investigation by The Athletic, who spoke to more than a dozen players he had coached since 2010.

Riley, who has coached women’s teams since 2006, has denied the accusations.

“I was shocked and disgusted to read the new allegations,” NWSL commissioner Lisa Baird said.

An official statement, signed by “the players, staff and principal owner” of North Carolina Courage, said: “The Courage support the players who have come forward and we commend them for bravely sharing their stories.

“The North Carolina Football Club is united together in our commitment to creating a safe, positive and respectful environment, not only within our club but across the league and our great sport.”

The NWSL players’ association has called for an investigation.