Officers investigating child sexual abuse within football in the UK have now identified over 250 potential suspects and 560 victims.
The inquiry, Operation Hydrant, is being co-ordinated by the National Police Chief’s Council (NPCC) and involves around 311 football clubs, across all leagues.
The latest update involving the inquiry came in January and at the time the number of potential suspects was 184, while the number of victims stood at 526.
According to the inquiry, the victims that have come forward are aged between four and twenty years, at the time of the abuse. Furthermore, 96% of victims are male.
Child sexual abuse in football
Last year a support hotline was set up after a number of ex-footballers – some of which with professional careers – reported they had been sexually abused as children by coaches and scouts involved in the game.
Since the hotline was set up, police forces all across the UK have reported an increased number of calls from people offering information, as well as victims.
However, this child sexual abuse scandal is not just confined to football. The NPCC has stated that 25 referrals to Operation Hydrant involve sports other than football. The inquiry has received complaints from victims of child sexual abuse involved in martial arts, rugby, golf, tennis, sailing, swimming, wrestling and gymnastics.
The Football Association has also launched an independent review into its handling of child sexual abuse allegations in the years prior to 2005. Clive Sheldon QC is leading the independent review.
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Source: BBC News