Last Updated on January 5, 2023 by
Gio Reyna’s mother has admitted telling US Soccer that US manager Gregg Berhalter committed domestic abuse against his wife 31 years ago in what he claimed was a World Cup blackmail plot.
In the latest twist in one of the biggest scandals to engulf the game in the United States, Reyna’s father, former national team captain and Manchester City midfielder Claudio, has also endorsed a statement by his own wife, Danielle, that she had reported Berhalter to the United States. Football sporting director Earnie Stewart.
But the Reynas have denied being part of a blackmail plot against Berhalter, a former teammate of Claudio.
It followed an explosive statement from Berhalter on Tuesday in which he said he was forced to go public about kicking his wife during an argument in 1991, which he said claimed “that a third party used against me and my family”.
This prompted Danielle Reyna to release her own statement confirming that she contacted Stewart after her son was told by Berhalter that he would be playing a limited role at the World Cup.
She said she did so on December 11, the same day Berhalter said at a leadership event that he nearly kicked an anonymous player out of the tournament because of his “extreme” misbehavior.
“To set the record straight, I called Earnie Stewart on December 11, just after news broke that Gregg had made negative statements about my son Gio at a leadership conference. “, we read in his statement.
‘ I was absolutely outraged and devastated that Gio had been put in such a terrible position’
“I have known Earnie for years and consider him a close friend. I wanted to let him know that I was absolutely outraged and devastated that Gio was put in such a terrible position, and that I felt very personally betrayed by the actions of someone my family had considered a friend for decades.
“As part of that conversation, I told Earnie that I thought it was particularly unfair that Gio, who had apologized for acting immature about his playing time, was still dragged into mud when Gregg had asked for and received forgiveness for doing something so much worse at the same age.
“Without going into detail, yesterday’s statements significantly understate the abuses of the night in question. Rosalind Berhalter was my roommate, teammate, and best friend, and I supported her through the trauma that followed.
“It took me a long time to forgive and accept Gregg afterwards, but I worked hard to give him the grace and eventually they made them and their children a big part of Gregg’s life. my family. I would have wanted and expected him to grant the same grace to Gio. That is why the current situation is so painful and so hard.
“At the time I called Earnie there were a lot of people on social media attacking Gio because of Gregg’s comments, and I didn’t know when or if that would stop.
“I just wanted Earnie to help me make sure there were no more unwarranted attacks on my son. I thought our conversation would be kept confidential, and it didn’t occur to me. at the time that anything I said could lead to an investigation.
“I’m not criticizing Earnie here. I highly commend US Soccer’s recent efforts to address player abuse, and now understand that it had an obligation to investigate what I shared.
‘I did not ask for Gregg to be fired, I did not make any threats’
“But I want to be very clear that I didn’t ask for Gregg’s dismissal, I didn’t make any threats and I know nothing about the blackmail attempts.
“I’m sorry that this information has become public, and I regret having played a part in something that could reopen wounds from the past.”
A statement from Claudio Reyna read: “I support my wife, Danielle, and her statement. I, too, was upset by Gregg’s comments about Gio after the United States withdrew from the World Cup, and I also reached out to Earnie Stewart on December 11 to ask him to prevent further comment.
“While in Qatar, I shared my frustrations over my son’s World Cup experience with a number of close friends, including Earnie and Brian McBride.
“However, at no time did I threaten anyone, nor would I ever.”
Berhalter, whose contract expired after last month’s tournament, previously released his own statement regarding his conduct in 1991 via Twitter: