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Cambridgeshire football clubs address historic child abuse claims

By Ben Comber

Three men arrested over stabbing incident in Cambridge
Three men arrested over stabbing incident in Cambridge

Police reportedly confirm allegations involve Cambridge United and Peterborough United

Cambridgeshire Police have become the sixth police force to make inquiries into historic child sexual abuse scandals that are upturning the country’s football industry.

In a statement a spokesperson for Cambridgeshire Police said: “We have received multiple historical allegations from the NSPCC of abuse related to football in Cambridgeshire.”

They said the allegations were made this weekend, 26/27th, and are being looked into.

Reportedly, both Cambridge United and Peterborough United are invovled in the allegations.

A statement from Cambridge United said: “Cambridge United Football Club has received correspondence from Cambridgeshire Police. This follows the recent coverage about historical disclosures of child sexual abuse within football clubs.

“The correspondence indicated that as a result of the publicity some referrals have been shared with Cambridgeshire Police. From what we have been told these date back to the 1990s and earlier.

“Cambridge United will treat any and every allegation of this nature with the utmost seriousness. The Club is still awaiting further detail from Cambridgeshire Police and will co-operate fully in any investigation.”

A statement from Peterborough United owner and chairman Darragh MacAnthony said: “Peterborough United will help the police, the FA, PFA and all other governing bodies of football in their investigations into historical child sex abuse claims.

“If anyone is found guilty of any offences, we hope they will be severely dealt with by those authorities in a quick and timely manner.

“We encourage anybody with any information relating to this matter to come forward so we can help the authorities as best we can going forward and trust me when I say as a Father of 3 young children, I am personally horrified by what is now coming to forefront in the press recently and will ensure our football club leads by example throughout this process with full transparency and honesty, top to bottom.”

Cambridgeshire FA released the following statement: “Cambridgeshire FA has been made aware today that Cambridgeshire Police have received a number of referrals as a result of the FA/NSPCC hotline being set up last week. These referrals relate to historical cases only.

“We would like to reassure the football family in Cambridgeshire that we have been working for number of years to create a safe and positive environment for almost 10,000 young players in the grassroots game.

“At the heart of this is a Safeguarding Children policy which is published both on our website and in our handbook for all clubs to follow. In addition to that all FA accredited Charter Standard clubs are checked annually and this involves ensuring all qualifications, including criminal records checks, are up to date. This also includes renewal of the FA Safeguarding Children Workshop certificate which is the cornerstone of the education of our workforce with regards to working with children, and is integrated into both coaching and refereeing courses.

“A further safeguard is that all youth coaches, managers and volunteers must have an accepted Criminal Records Check before the team or club can be affiliated to play in organised football.

“Football has developed a network of designated persons to ensure that there is a joined up approach to child welfare. All affiliated youth clubs and sanctioned leagues must have a trained Child Welfare Officer, who are supported by a County Welfare Officer.

“Any reports of on or off field concerns relating to child welfare are investigated and are managed in conjunction with other appropriate agencies including The FA Case Management team, the Police, the NSPCC and local authorities.”


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