Football Association To Investigate Child Sex Abuse Claims

Football Association has setup an inquiry to investigate the clubs and the FA itself after the child sex abuse revelations.

More than 20 players have come forward and made allegations of sexual abuse against junior team coaches connected to many clubs including Crewe, Manchester City and Newcastle.

The internal review will look at what information the FA and the clubs were aware of at relevant times and what action could have been taken.

At the center of attention has been coach and talent hunter Barry Bennel who has been accused by four players of sex abuse when they were kids.

Andy Woodward, the first player to go public last week, revealed that he was sexually abused by Bennell between the ages of 11 and 15 at Crewe Alexandra's youth team.

Andy Woodward spoke about being abused by his coach

Woodward has suffered from panic attacks in his career at Bury and Sheffield United. He retired from football in 2002, aged 29.

He said Bennell had threatened to take his career away from him. Woodward said that he "tried to put it in a box and focus on football, because that was all I'd ever dreamed of" but now he is eager to help other children and "die a happy man".

"I'm going to do everything I can do help these young kids," he said.

Barry Bennell appears in court in
handcuffs in Florida in the 1990s
Brave Woodward's disclosure caused Chris Unsworth to open up, revealing he was first abused by Bennell at age 9 and was "raped between 50 and 100 times" before he was 12.

Many more ex-footballers have publicly shared their horrors all owing to Andy Woodward.

"It's a massive relief seeing how brave Andy's been," said Steve Walters, another victim of the abuse. "I was upset but in another way it was like a hundred tons being lifted off my shoulders."

Pedophile Barry Bennel was arrested in 1994 during a Stone Dominoes FC tour of the United States and jailed for four years on six counts of sexual offences.

He was also jailed for nine years in UK in 1998 after admitting 23 charges of sexual offences against six boys.


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