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Dyke: Ched Evans' return to football 'is not clear cut'

The issue of whether convicted rapist Ched Evans should return to football is "not clear cut", FA chairman Greg Dyke has said.

While Dyke refused to give his own view on Sheffield United allowing Evans to train following his release from prison, he said there is a "straightforward question" that needs to be answered.

Football Association chairman Greg Dyke said there is a 'straightforward question' that needs to be answered. Credit: Patrick Seeger/DPA/Press Association Images

He told BBC's Newsnight: "Here's the straightforward question - are people who go to prison entitled to come out of prison and to try and rebuild their lives or aren't they?

"Or is what they've done so bad and because they're in an industry where their image is important - and that's the dilemma and it's not clear cut."

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Ched Evans' aunt: 'He will never show remorse'

Ched Evans' aunt has attacked the footballer for not apologising to the victim of the rape for which he was convicted.

Nina Evans, 56, told the Sun: “Ched won’t grasp or listen. He won’t admit he’s done wrong. He’ll never show remorse.”

Footballer Ched Evans outside court. Credit: PA

Ms Evans, who works as an addiction counsellor and sometimes treats rape victims, said she was very disappointed in a video apology her nephew made.

In the video Evans apologised to girlfriend Natasha Massey but did not mention his victim.

“It cut me like a knife. I hoped he’d come to his senses and say the right thing. What about his poor victim? It’s a massive insult to her," Ms Evans said.

Ched Evans makes video appeal for 'second chance'

Ched Evans has issued a video statement asking for a "second chance" to resume his professional football career after serving a prison sentence for rape.

The former Sheffield United striker, sitting alongside his girlfriend Natasha Massey, said it was his "hope" to return to the game, adding: "If that is possible then I will do so with humility having learned a very painful lesson."

Evans said he remained "determined to continue the fight to clear my name" in the video released on his personal website.

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BBC's Buerk: Ched Evans' rape victim deserves no credit

The BBC has apologised after presenter Michael Buerk broadcast that footballer Ched Evans' rape victim was among those not coming away "with any credit" from the case because she was "so drunk she could barely stand".

Michael Buerk's comments aired this morning on Radio 4 ahead of this evening's Moral Maze. Credit: Yui Mok/PA Archive

Speaking in a trailer for this evening's Radio 4 programme Moral Maze, which will debate whether Evans should return to his former club Sheffield United after his prison release, Buerk said:

Nobody comes out of the Ched Evans rape case with any credit. Not the victim who had drunk so much she could barely stand, nor the two footballers who had sex with her in the most sordid of circumstances.

The jury convicted only one of rape and now, after serving half his five-year sentence, ashamed but unrepentant, Ched Evans has been released and there is talk of a £500,000 contract to return to his club, Sheffield United.

– Michael Buerk

This morning's aired comments received strong criticism from rape charities amid an angry public response. A spokesman for Radio 4 said:

There was no intention to suggest that the victim was in any way at fault, and we apologise if the way this live trail was phrased suggested this.

Tonight’s Moral Maze will ask whether a convicted rapist who maintains his innocence should be entitled to get his job back.

– BBC statement

The criticism of Buerk's comments come after public outrage at TV presenter Judy Finnigan's claim that the victim in the case had "had far too much to drink" and that the "rape was not violent".

Review body to investigate Ched Evans rape case

The Criminal Cases Review Commission has said it is to begin investigating the Evans case "within the next few weeks".

A spokesman for the body, which reviews possible miscarriages of justice and has the power to refer cases to the Court of Appeal, told the Observer newspaper that representations had been made by the footballer's legal team to prioritise the case.

He told the paper that after the request "in line with our published policy on prioritisation, and in relation to the facts of the case and the issues raised in Mr Evans's application to us ... we now expect our substantive investigation to begin within the next few weeks".

He added that the decision to fast-track the case had no bearing on whether it may be referred to the appeal courts.

Ched Evans: I am not capable of rape

Convicted rapist Ched Evans has vowed to prove his innocence and return to football.

Sheffield United and Wales striker Ched Evans arrives at Caernafon Crown Court Credit: PA Archive

The 25-year-old footballer, who was released from prison on Friday having served half of a five-year sentence for raping a woman in a hotel room, told the Sunday Mirror shortly before he was freed that he was not capable of rape and was stunned by his conviction.

He said cheating on his girlfriend was "unforgivable", and wished he "could turn back the clock".

But protesting his innocence, the former Sheffield United player said: "I am not capable of rape. She has helped me to cope. I want to play football again, but I am determined to prove my innocence.

“I really thought it would have been thrown out of court and I was stunned when I was convicted.I had done nothing wrong.

"It was something that should never have happened. I cheated on my girlfriend and had sex with this girl - but it was definitely consensual."

Sheffield United deny Ched Evans contract reports

Sheffield United has denied reports it has offered a contract to convicted rapist Ched Evans, claiming newspaper reports are "false and damaging to the club".

Ched Evans was released from prison yesterday. Credit: PA Wire

Following Evans' release from prison yesterday, The Sun newspaper reported that the 25-year-old's former club had offered him a two-year contract.

But Sheffield United co-chairmen, Kevin McCabe and Jim Phipps, said they were still "continuing to deliberate on any long term decision about Ched Evans."

On Wednesday, an ITV News Calendar poll found 52% of people were against him rejoining the club.

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