Football Association establishes sexual abuse inquiry

A raft of sexual abuse cases have been made public in recent days

BY Sinéad Farrell 10:21 Sunday 27 November 2016, 10:21 27 Nov 2016

Andrew Matthews EMPICS Sport

The Football Association has launched an inquiry into sexual abuse in football after a number of cases were brought to light recently. 

Several people have publicly spoken about their experience of sexual abuse as youth players. Off The Ball featured Andy Woodward's story during the week, in which Woodward described how he was abused by convicted paedophile Barry Bennell at the Crewe Alexandra football club during the 1980's and 1990's.

Speaking about the internal inquiry that has been set-up to address this issue, the FA said that it will process the information that the FA was aware of at the relevant times, where clubs were aware of what action was, or should have been taken.

"We are working closely with the police to support their lead investigations and must ensure we do not do anything to interfere with or jeopardise the criminal process."

The Child Protection in Sport Unit, which has been working alongside the FA in relation to its safeguarding procedures since 2000, will also carry out an independent audit into the FA's practices.

The National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) has received over 100 calls about the issue of of sexual abuse in football.

One of the leading police officials who works in the area of investigating paedophiles, is predicting that the number of players speaking out about their years of suffering from sexual abuse, is likely to increase. Meanwhile, the National Association for People Abused in Childhood says it is aware of rumoured cases of child abuse in swimming, tennis and judo that were not dealt with properly.   

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