Widespread Historical Sexual Abuse

In November 2016, allegations of widespread historical sexual abuse at football clubs began to emerge. The helpline received over 50 calls within the first two hours and more than three times as many referrals as in the first three days of the Jimmy Savile scandal with 350 individuals alleging abuse.

As all this vile abuse was happening for many years what has been the response of the FA ?

In the 1990s, the FA was said to have reacted “dismissively” to worries about sexual abuse in the game, and too slow to implement criminal record checks by former sport minister Gerry Sutcliffe

In 2003, the FA had scrapped a project meant to ensure children were being protected from sexual abuse and FA officials had been uncooperative with the review project, with ten of 14 FA staff not replying to interview requests and a report by the researchers of others being “prevented/bullied” f

Surely an independent body, such as the DCMS should look at the issue rather than allow the corrupt and inefficient FA to investigate itself: Sutcliffe said “What I’ve seen in football over the years is that they’re very narrow, very insular, and may not do a proper job even though they might have the right intentions’

In December 2016, five former FA executives – David Bernstein, David Davies, Greg Dyke, Alex Horne and David Triesman – called on Parliament’s Culture, Media and Sport Committee to propose legislation to reform the FA, saying it was outdated, held back by “elderly white men”, and unable to counter the power of the Premier League or “to reform and modernise in a fast-changing world”.