Sex abuse: Football Association to investigate allegations

Andy Woodward speaks about being sexually abused by his coach

The Football Association has confirmed it is investigating allegations of sexual abuse in football.

Former footballers have been coming forward to say they were sexually abused as youth players.

A hotline set up by the NSPCC has already received more than 100 calls.

The FA said: “We are working closely with the police to support their lead investigations and must ensure we do not do anything to interfere with or jeopardise the criminal process.”

The FA has instructed independent leading counsel Kate Gallafent QC to assist it with its review.

The FA added that the internal review will look at what information the FA was aware of at relevant times around the issues, which clubs were aware and what action was, or should have been taken.

The Child Protection in Sport Unit, which has assisted the FA in relation to its safeguarding procedures since 2000, will also carry out an independent audit into the FA’s practices.

The NSPCC hotline was set up after David White, Andy Woodward, Steve Walters and Paul Stewart all spoke out about abuse.

Ex-Crewe player Woodward, 43, initially went public last week about his abuse by former Crewe coach and youth football scout Barry Bennell, who was later convicted for sex offences against children.

The four former players all waived their right to anonymity to speak publicly about abuse they suffered.

More to follow.

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