TRENTON, NJ — New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy on Wednesday said his professional women’s soccer team, SkyBlue FC’s involvement in an ongoing federal immigration fraud scandal caught him by surprise. Murphy did not offer much detail into the relationship between his embattled soccer team and its implicated role by the FBI in an ongoing immigration fraud scheme.
Murphy appeared to initially shift blame towards the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) instead.
“As it relates to the SkyBlue, I saw the same press as you all did,” Murphy said. “This was a program, as I understand it, that was recommended to teams by advisors to the league. If I read the article right, I think seven teams ultimately participated in it.”
Murphy shifted focus quickly to the important role he and his wife Tammy are playing in empowering young women in the youth soccer industry.
“I do want to reiterate, the reason why we went into this is the reason why we’re still in women’s soccer today,” Murphy said. “That is, you know, when our daughter was younger, not that I think she ever had an aspiration to be a pro soccer player, but it was notable that the young boys, including our sons, could look up to pro soccer athletes in the US at a major league level and you couldn’t if you were a young girl, which was made even crazier, because we were the number one national team and continue to be top couple in the entire world. That’s why we went into it and that’s why we stay in it.”
On Friday, the former Chief Operating Officer of Global Premier Soccer (GPS), a now-defunct youth soccer organization formerly based in Waltham, Mass., was charged today in connection with a wide-ranging visa fraud conspiracy.
Capell, feds charge and his co-conspirators arranged to file fraudulent visa petitions on behalf of at least seven professional soccer teams in order to secure visas for GPS’s foreign coaching staff. One of those teams was Murphy’s Sky Blue FC.
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