Theft from soccer club could hurt youth tournaments - KCTV5

Theft from soccer club could hurt youth tournaments

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OVERLAND PARK, KS (KCTV) -

Police are investigating after a woman allegedly stole more than $3,000 from a youth soccer club, and adults say it is the children who will likely suffer.

Authorities are in the early stages of their investigation after they were contacted. KC Blaze director Ben Popoola said two weeks ago he realized $3,200 was missing from a girls team account. He made the discovery during registration for the spring season.

He said he contacted the team's manager, and he said she agreed to return what had been taken. But the woman, who has children who played in the league, has stopped returning telephone calls and ended contact.

"Coaches, managers and trainers are all supposed to set a good example for kids, supposed to be a role model," said Popoola, who has been director of the KC Blaze for nearly 25 years. "I think it's very disappointing when you look at it. We are supposed to take care of kids and not take away from them. That's what really amazed me."

The nonprofit depends on volunteers to thrive. The club has made arrangements for kids to play in the league, but at this point they don't have the money to cover the cost of tournaments.

The KC Blaze Soccer Club plays numerous games at the Overland Park soccer complex, but also has traveling teams who enter tournaments out of state. And that's what children especially look forward to.

Popoola is baffled, saying he never thought he would face such a situation.

"We've had great parents and good managers who are dedicated and would do anything for our teams," he said.

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