FA chairman: Football asleep to issue of child sex abuse in 1990s

FA chairman Greg Clarke said football - and society as a whole - had a "total unawareness" of safeguarding children in the 1990s.

Speaking as police forces around the country investigate historical allegations from more than 20 former players said the sport and other institutions were "sleepwalking" rather than dealing with the problem.

Eight police forces are now looking into allegations of historical abuse in football.

There have been 250 reports made to police and more than 50 calls were made to an NSPCC hotline set up for sexual abuse victims in football in the initial hours of opening.

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Cambridgeshire Police probe 'multiple' abuse allegations

Police were alerted to the allegations from the NSPCC. Credit: PA

Cambridgeshire Police have become the latest force to confirm they are investigating "multiple" allegations of abuse related to football.

They said they were reacting to allegations received by the NSPCC, who launched a dedicated hotline for sexual abuse victims earlier this month.

A spokesperson said: "We have received multiple historical allegations from the NSPCC of abuse related to football in Cambridgeshire.

"The inquiries were received recently (the weekend of 26/27th) and are being looked into."


Government will not review DBS check requirements yet

The government will not be looking at reviewing DBS checks as a result of fresh allegations of child sex abuse in football, Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport Karen Bradley has said.

Mrs Bradley was asked whether the government would consider looking into the "loophole" whereby some people who work with children do not need DBS checks, when she said it would not do so initially.

DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) checks ensure that people with criminal records are not allowed to work with vulnerable people including children.

There is currently no requirement for volunteer football coaches to have a DBS check if they are being supervised by someone in a regulated activity.

However, Mrs Bradley stressed that DBS checks are required if people are being left alone with children, and that it will be looked at if enquiries show that this was an area which could have prevented abuse.

No independent body will oversee FA review

There will not be an independent body overseeing the FA's own investigation into alleged historic sex abuse, the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport said.

Responding to scepticism expressed by several MPs over the value of the body investigating itself, Karen Bradley expressed the importance of allowing police space to investigate.

"It's important that they are given the chance to look at the institutional failings, but importantly, that we allow the police the time and space to carry out their investigation," she said.

Government to ask other sports bodies to stamp out abuse

Karen Bradley, Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport

The government will write to additional sports governing bodies to ask them to look into potential child sex abuse in their respective sports.

The Football Association's internal investigation into historic sex abuse in football will be "properly resourced", the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport said.

Karen Bradley said it would look at "what the FA and clubs knew, and when, and what action was or should have been taken".

She was responding to an urgent question by Labour MP Rosena Allin-Khan about historic sex abuse in football.


GMP investigate sexual abuse claims in youth football

Credit: PA

A fifth police force have launched an investigation into allegations of historic sexual abuse in youth football.

Greater Manchester Police (GMP) joined the Metropolitan Police and the FA in investigating the growing scandal, which was sparked when an ex-player spoke out about the abuse he suffered at the hands of convicted paedophile Barry Bennell.

Assistant Chief Constable Debbie Ford from GMP, said: “We are co-ordinating our investigation with forces nationally and with Operation Hydrant, the national co-ordination hub for historic child abuse investigations concerning persons of public prominence.

“I would encourage anyone who was a victim of sexual or physical abuse to come forward and speak to us as soon as possible.

"I completely understand that for many people, making disclosures about such traumatic events can be difficult but we will offer advice and support throughout.

“For those who do want to come forward please call police on 101.”

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