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Category: Children

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Crewe reject calls for inquiry into Barry Bennell sexual abuse

Victims of football coach left ‘bitterly disappointed’ after club says it will not hold investigationVictims of Barry Bennell have said they are “bitterly disappointed” after Crewe Alexandra rejected calls for an independent inquiry into child sexual a…

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Barry Bennell branded ‘sheer evil’ as he is sentenced to 31 years

Judge describes former youth football coach as ‘devil incarnate’ for child sexual abuseThe former football coach Barry Bennell was branded a “monster” by one of his victims in court as he was sentenced to 31 years.The catalogue of sexual abuse revealed…

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Manchester City ‘ignored warnings’ and kept Barry Bennell in youth set-up

• Bennell continued scouting and coaching for City, abusing countless boys• City youth coach Steve Fleet urged club in 1970s to keep away from BennellManchester City, one of the clubs most seriously implicated in the Barry Bennell sexual abuse scandal,…

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‘I smile a lot more’: Jelena Dokic finds strength after adversity

Former tennis star’s book documents abuse she endured from her father, but Dokic is finding support all around, including from Nick Kyrgios’s mumJelena Dokic has succeeded in getting the tennis world talking, on a topic people find notoriously hard to …

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Law to change to make sex between coaches and 16- and 17-year-olds illegal

• MP Tracey Crouch to bring sport into line with other sectors• ‘This is a much-needed step in right direction,’ says NSPCCChanges to the law are set to make it illegal for sport coaches to have sex with 16- and 17-year-old children in their care in th…

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Premier League youth players targeted by Snapchat groomers posing as agents

Scale of new online menace facing young footballers revealed by pioneering project at Everton’s academy

Paedophiles are targeting Premier League youth players on Snapchat by posing as football agents and scouts in a bid to groom and entrap them.

Adam Green, head of safeguarding at Everton, said that last season young players at the club revealed they had been approached through the messaging app by men who claimed they wanted to sign or represent them.

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As a world champion athlete, I can give a voice to other child abuse victims | Patrik Sjöberg

In Britain as in my native Sweden, the extent of sexual abuse in sport is only just unfolding. The silence of recent decades must not be allowed to return

Shortly after releasing my autobiography, in which I spoke about the sexual abuse I had suffered as a child from my athletics coach Viljo Nousiainen, I gave a public reading in Sweden. Afterwards I was approached by a 93-year-old man who had been in the audience, and I will never forget what he told me. “I’m going to read the book, give one to my wife and one each to my children, and then I’m going to tell them what happened to me when I was 10 years old,” he said. “You came out with this in your book. I’ve been ashamed all my life and was ready to take it to the grave, but now I’m going to tell my family.”

It shows there are no time limits on talking about something like this, and that’s one reason why the accounts that were so bravely given by several former footballers late last year are so important in Britain. In my case, I waited 30 years to recount what had happened. Many people have been, and are, in the same situation, so it’s very encouraging to see high-profile athletes come forward and give confidence to others who have suffered similar experiences.

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Met police receive 106 allegations of sexual abuse at football clubs

Police say claim linked to individuals at 32 named clubs or teams in London, including four in Premier League

Metropolitan police officers are investigating 106 separate allegations of historical sexual abuse at football clubs in London.

Britain’s biggest police force said the allegations were linked to individuals at 32 named clubs or teams in London, including four in the Premier League.

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Met police receive 106 allegations of sexual abuse at football clubs

Police say claim linked to individuals at 32 named clubs or teams in London, including four in Premier League

Metropolitan police officers are investigating 106 separate allegations of historical sexual abuse at football clubs in London.

Britain’s biggest police force said the allegations were linked to individuals at 32 named clubs or teams in London, including four in the Premier League.

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Football sex abuse scandal: how the story unfolded – video

Historical allegations of sexual abuse in football have engulfed the sport since the Guardian published details on 16 November of Andy Woodward’s experiences as a youth player. After other former players spoke publicly about having suffered abuse, more than 20 UK police forces launched investigations and the FA was prompted to conduct its own internal inquiry into the allegations. Here we look at how the story unfolded

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Eric Bristow confronted by mother of sexually abused children – video

Former world darts champion Eric Bristow has apologised for his tweets suggesting victims of child sexual abuse are wimps. In an interview with Piers Morgan on ITV’s Good Morning Britain, he eventually accepts he has caused offence. Before his apology, Bristow is confronted by Marilyn Hawes, a mother of three sexually abused children, who called him a bully

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No young footballer should have to endure sexual abuse again | Graeme Le Saux

Clubs must work with organisations such as the NSPCC to train their staff to spot warning signs and deal with them

The atmosphere of the football dressing rooms I first came into in 1987 was one constructed around macho, masculine archetypes, and designed to stop the players from showing any form of weakness. Supporting that was a strict hierarchy, with coaches at the top, and young players at the bottom – respect and obedience were crucial components.

As in all sports – and many other ways of life, I’m sure – players had to be willing to run through walls for their coaches, to carry out instructions, all in order to secure the success of the group. In such a system, it should come as no surprise that young people are vulnerable to sexual abuse, and also that they should feel unable to come forward at the time it was happening. It would not only have disrupted the hierarchy, but it would be an admission of weakness – two things that will single you out within the dressing room.

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Football abuse scandal: police warn allegations likely to spread to other sports

Police chief warns governing bodies of all sports that more alleged victims of child abuse are likely to come forward

The scandal surrounding allegations of historical child sex abuse in football could spread to other sports, a senior police officer has warned.

A significant number of other alleged victims of abuse are likely to come forward and further sporting governing bodies may report similar problems, Chief Constable Simon Bailey, the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) lead for child protection, said.

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Football child abuse victim: it’s time for justice – video

Steve Walters, one of the ex-footballers who has come forward to say he was abused by he suffered by serial paedophile Barry Bennell in the 1980s, tells Victoria Derbyshire of the torment he still suffersSecond footballer reveals abuse by serial paedop…

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Football child abuse victim: it’s time for justice – video

Steve Walters, one of the ex-footballers who has come forward to say he was abused by he suffered by serial paedophile Barry Bennell in the 1980s, tells Victoria Derbyshire of the torment he still suffersSecond footballer reveals abuse by serial paedop…

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Teenager with only six fingers holds on tight to Wimbledon dream

Fifteen-year-old Francesca Jones got through the first round at Junior Wimbledon despite a rare condition that has left her without all her fingers and toes

A 15-year-old girl who has battled her way to Junior Wimbledon despite having just three fingers and a thumb on each hand has described her determination to succeed in the game.

Francesca Jones was born with ectrodactyly ectodermal dysplasia syndrome – a rare condition that causes development problems with hands and feet.

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Adam Johnson should be jailed for up to 10 years, court told

Ex-England footballer’s offending left teenage victim with ‘severe psychological harm’ and suicidal thoughts, court hears

Adam Johnson should be jailed for up to 10 years for carrying out “calculated, considered and carefully-orchestrated” sexual activity with a child, a court has been told.

The former England footballer’s offending has left his teenage victim with “severe psychological harm” and suicidal thoughts, prosecutor Kate Blackwell QC said.

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NSPCC: football clubs not taking child protection seriously enough

FA should ensure that child protection is ‘drilled into the culture of every club in the country’, charity says

The FA should take urgent action to ensure Sunderland AFC’s handling of the Adam Johnson case is not symptomatic of a “cultural problem within football”, the NSPCC has said.

In a letter to the FA chairman, Greg Dyke, the NSPCC chief executive, Peter Saunders, raised concerns that Premier League clubs may not be taking child protection issues seriously enough.

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Cerebral palsy triathlete, aged eight, wins Rollason award

Bailey Matthews receives ovation as he wins award for outstanding achievement in face of adversity

An eight-year-old boy with cerebral palsy who completed a triathlon unaided was given the Helen Rollason prize at Sunday night’s Sports Personality of the Year awards.

Related: Andy Murray and Belfast the winners in Sports Personality of the Year

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Fifa and FA must do more to stop young people falling victim to fake agents

Football bodies and government need to tackle illegal recruitment practices to protect young people and the reputation of the sport

It is a, sadly, often-repeated story. An African teenager playing football at an academy in his native country was taken by an “agent” who said he would get him into professional football in Europe. The youth, who was a child at the time, was then taken to another African country where he was made to work with no pay and poor living conditions. He did not play football for three years.

Eventually, he was told by the “agent” that he had a trial with an English Premier League club and was taken to the UK, albeit some 200 miles from where the club is based. The young man soon realised that he wasn’t in the UK to play football and fearing he was going to be confined again, managed to escape. After asking for help in a local church he was put in touch with the Red Cross and local authorities and has just been granted asylum.

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