The Offside Trust, the organisation set up in the wake of the football abuse scandal, which aims to work alongside football clubs to enhance safeguarding, has this week claimed that at least 80 sports coaches have been convicted of child sexual abuse in the past two years.
From their own research, based on recent media reports, The Offside Trust say that almost a third of these cases involved crimes committed within the last five years. As such they conclude that child sex abuse in sport is not simply a historic issue and they remain committed to raising awareness of the subject and in supporting all survivors of abuse within football that come forward.
The Police have also confirmed that since November 2016, they have received more than 2,800 referrals relating to historic sex abuse in football.
Meanwhile, the independent Inquiry commissioned by the Football Association to investigate child sex abuse in football between 1970 and 2005, which was due to publish its final report towards the end of this year, remains delayed indefinitely due to the ongoing criminal investigations. At present, former Southampton youth coach Bob Higgins is to face a retrial and former Crewe coach Barry Bennell, recently imprisoned for 31 years having been found guilty of 50 counts of child sexual abuse, is also likely to face further allegations.
David Milton, Partner, BLM