Premier League announces mandatory sexual consent training
As the new football season starts this weekend in England and Wales, the Premier League announced the introduction of a mandatory sexual consent training for players and staff.
This long anticipated move comes after a series of recent and historic sexual abuse allegations within football came to light.
In March 2021, the Independent Review into Child Sexual Abuse in Football 1970 – 2005 by Clive Sheldon QC established that there were at least 240 known suspects of child sexual abuse within football and nearly 700 survivors.
Bolt Burdon Kemp currently represents clients in a number of those cases, including in claims against Blackpool FC (known as “DSN”) and Manchester City FC (known as “TVZ ”), in which both claims the clubs decided to defend the civil cases brought against them by the survivors. The decision by both clubs is clearly deeply regrettable and has caused further distress to the survivors.
Allegations related to sexual misconduct by Premier League players and staff do not only belong to the past. Recently, there has been a series of new sexual assault allegations by football players, including in July 2022, when a 29 year old Premier League football player was arrested at his home in North London over allegations of rape.
The alleged rape took place in June 2022 and the victim was in her 20s. While in custody the suspect was further arrested in relation to two more incidents of rape against another woman, which allegedly took place in April and June 2021. It was subsequently reported that the police decided to drop charges in relation to the June 2021 incident, while their investigation of the remaining allegations is ongoing.
Another high profile Premier League player was arrested in January 2022 over allegations of rape. He currently remains on bail as the court case in pending. He was suspended by the club until further notice.
While the introduction of the mandatory sexual consent training for players and staff is a move in the right direction, it is also important that clubs take responsibility for the historic and more recent allegations involving sexual abuse by their players and staff.
If you or someone you know experienced abuse with football please contact our specialised abuse claims team.