English FA in­ves­ti­gat­ing if clubs paid off sex abuse vic­tims

Malta Independent - - SPORT -

English soc­cer au­thor­i­ties are in­ves­ti­gat­ing whether clubs paid off vic­tims of sex­ual abuse in re­turn for their si­lence.

English Foot­ball As­so­ci­a­tion chief ex­ec­u­tive Martin Glenn said yes­ter­day the body will take ac­tion against any club found guilty of “hush­ing up” vic­tims of a grow­ing scan­dal in Bri­tish soc­cer.

“There has to be a sit­u­a­tion,” Glenn said, “where if there are re­stric­tive con­tracts through em­ploy­ment law which pre­vent peo­ple from speak­ing out about a crime - and we are talk­ing about crimes here - then it must be dealt with.”

The FA has started an in­ter­nal re­view to re-ex­am­ine its re­sponse to con­vic­tions of soc­cer coaches in the 1990s, af­ter for­mer pro­fes­sional at the high­est level be­cause in in­ter­na­tional and top Euro­pean foot­ball in this day and age, the phys­i­cal prepa­ra­tion is key. So there is an op­por­tu­nity to dis­cuss it with the play­ers and see what they want to do.”

South­gate said Rooney will re­main as Eng­land’s cap­tain even though the Manch­ester United for­ward started only two of the four games dur­ing South­gate’s spell as interim coach.

“It’s ob­vi­ously not a case that Wayne ex­pects to play every game,” South­gate said. “It’s im­por­tant for me that we de­velop more play­ers went public over the last two weeks about the or­deals they went through as young­sters. The gov­ern­ing body is also fund­ing and sup­port­ing a hot­line, set up by a chil­dren’s char­ity in re­sponse to sex abuse claims, that has taken more than 860 calls in its first week.

“If the FA has made er­rors, we will own up to them,” Glenn said, “as must the rest of foot­ball if avoid­able er­rors have been made.”

Asked if there had been a coverup within the English game re­gard­ing child abuse cases, Glenn said: “I doubt it.”

Fif­teen po­lice forces are in­ves­ti­gat­ing al­le­ga­tions of child sex abuse in soc­cer, while Chelsea also opened an in­ves­ti­ga­tion into an em­ployee from the 1970s who is now dead.

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