N.Z. coach quit because of racy photo
WELLINGTON, New Zealand
The former coach of New Zealand's U-17 soccer team revealed Sunday that his mysterious resignation before the upcoming World Cup was sparked by a photo of his genitals that he emailed to the mother of a fringe player.
Steve Cain quit his post just weeks before he was due to lead the national side, the Young All Whites at June's FIFA U-17 World Cup in Mexico.
The 52-year-old told the Sunday News that he was left with no choice but to step down after New Zealand Football learned he had emailed the revealing photo and his player selection process was being questioned.
He said the woman, the mother of a 16-year-old player who was eventually cut from the squad for the World Cup, had begun sending him suggestive and increasingly explicit emails in 2009.
"There were suggestions about perhaps meeting and doing things sexual. I never responded," Cain said. "I deleted them. I was quite shocked. She kept pressing me to send her something back."
After "a few beers and [in] a moment of madness" in April last year, Cain said he emailed her a picture of his abdomen, which also partially revealed his genitals.
He said the woman later became upset when her son failed to score a regular first-team place in the U-17s and retaliated by distributing Cain's revealing email photo to his bosses.
Cain maintains that his personal life had no influence on his decisions over team selection.
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