31 Jan 2017

Five English premier league clubs in sex abuse investigation

12:23 pm on 31 January 2017

Five English Premier League and three Championship (second tier) football clubs are being investigated in relation to allegations of widespread historical child sex abuse in the sport dating back to the 1970's.

The Metropolitan Police Service, which confirmed last month that it had launched an investigation into allegations at football clubs in London, says it's received 255 separate allegations of sexual abuse at 77 named clubs or teams.

Earlier this month, British police said they had identified 184 potential suspects and 526 victims, adding that other sports had also been implicated in the child sex-abuse scandal.

Police forces across the country launched inquiries after former player Andy Woodward revealed in November he had been abused as a boy by a youth team coach, prompting other ex-professionals to come forward with allegations.

Andy Woodward weeps on air in an interview with BBC's Victoria Derbyshire.

Andy Woodward. Photo: Screenshot / BBC

The abuse revelations are the latest in a series of paedophile scandals to have hit Britain in recent years.

Police said 22 of the referrals related to other sports including rugby, gymnastics, martial arts, tennis, wrestling, golf, sailing, athletics, cricket, and swimming.