Sex­ual abuse in English soc­cer ex­posed as vic­tims speak out

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - NEWS -

LON­DON >> For­mer English soc­cer play­ers who were sub­jected to years of sex­ual abuse by youth team coaches en­trusted with their care are break­ing cover to ex­pose the game’s dark se­crets.

Har­row­ing sto­ries of as­saults on young play­ers by men they re­lied on to turn them into pro­fes­sion­als are forc­ing au­thor­i­ties and clubs to fi­nally ad­dress how child abusers were able to ex­ploit their po­si­tions of power and why the be­hav­ior wasn’t con­fronted ear­lier.

The abuses were first un­cov­ered two decades ago with the con­vic­tion of English coach Barry Ben­nell in the United States and his home­land. Ben­nell worked in acad­e­mies across north­west Eng­land.

Four po­lice forces across Eng­land, in­clud­ing Lon­don, have opened in­ves­ti­ga­tions af­ter be­ing con­tacted about Ben­nell and other un­named peo­ple. Lead­ing clubs Manch­ester City and New­cas­tle said they are as­sist­ing au­thor­i­ties.

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