Soccer-Santos women's coach Lima steps down after harassment allegations

(Reuters) - Santos women's coach Kleiton Lima has stepped down, the club said on Monday, after rival players protested against his return following an investigation into harassment allegations.

Lima left Santos in September after letters were published by Brazilian outlet Globo Ge in which 19 players anonymously accused him of harassment. However, he returned this month following an investigation by the club.

Corinthians players had covered their ears and mouths during the Brazilian national anthem before their women's league match against Santos on Friday.

"In order to preserve his family, his integrity and Santos Football Club itself, Kleiton Lima today requested to step down," Santos said in a statement.

"Even though he is convinced that he has not committed any of the acts he is accused of, Kleiton Lima understood that his request to resign is the best option for all parties."

Santos said Lima had received death threats over the accusations and the matter was now closed.

Wesly Otoni will take over as coach on interim basis, the club added.

(Reporting by Chiranjit Ojha in Bengaluru; Editing by Ken Ferris)

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