For­mer Saints coach be­hav­iour ‘very very wrong’: Le Tissier

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

LON­DON: For­mer Eng­land and Southamp­ton star Matt Le Tissier be­came the high­est pro­file for­mer foot­baller to make ac­cu­sa­tions of in­ap­pro­pri­ate be­hav­iour telling the BBC he re­ceived a ‘naked mas­sage’ from for­mer Saints youth coach Bob Hig­gins.

Hig­gins, who is still alive un­like sev­eral other for­mer coaches who have been sub­ject to a slew of al­le­ga­tions of abuse over the past fort­night, was ac­quit­ted of sex­ual abuse charges in 1992.

But he was linked to abuse again in a 1997 Chan­nel Four doc­u­men­tary while the Foot­ball League, po­lice and so­cial ser­vices had warned as early as 1989 he was a dan­ger to chil­dren.

He has in the past week been ac­cused by sev­eral for­mer Southamp­ton play­ers and the club’s for­mer man­ager Harry Red­knapp, who was not in charge at the time Hig­gins was there, crit­i­cised the Foot­ball As­so­ci­a­tion (FA) for not ban­ning him from foot­ball.

The FA have launched their own in­ter­nal re­view into whether their body had been made aware of these al­le­ga­tions at the timeas the scan­dal has been la­belled the big­gest cri­sis in English foot­ball.

At present 20 po­lice forces are hold­ing their own in­ves­ti­ga­tions af­ter be­ing con­tacted by for­mer play­ers and a source told The Ob­server at the week­end the al­le­ga­tions con­cern 55 pro­fes­sional and non league clubs. In other de­vel­op­ments The Daily Tele­graph re­ported the late Chris Gieler has been ac­cused of abuse of ap­pren­tices and school­boys at Lon­don club Queens Park Rangers over three decades when he was their youth de­vel­op­ment of­fi­cer. Ath­let­ics too came into the spot­light as a for­mer as­pir­ing ath­lete Roy Mes­sen­ger, 55, went pub­lic in The Daily Tele­graph and said he had been raped 50 times be­tween the ages of nine and 12 by the man known as Ox­ford’s ‘Mr Ath­let­ics’ Aubrey Har­ris, in­clud­ing at the track where Roger Ban­nis­ter broke the four minute bar­rier for the mile.

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