The SFA and and Police Scotland to give evidence to MSPs over abuse

16 December 2016, 12:24

The Scottish Football Association and Police Scotland are among organisations which have been called to give evidence at Holyrood on child protection in sport in light of the growing scandal surrounding allegations of historical child abuse in football.

The Scottish Parliament's Health and Sport Committee will be "seeking assurances'' from sports and child protection organisations that current safeguards mean children at Scotland's sports clubs today are adequately protected from the risk of abuse.

Further organisations invited to give evidence are the Scottish Youth Football Association, the Professional Footballers Association, Scottish Swimming, Scottish Sports Association, Sportscotland, Cosla, Volunteer Development Scotland, Children and Young People's Commissioner Scotland and the NSPCC.

Labour's Neil Findlay, convener of the committee, said: "The recent allegations of historical child sexual abuse in football have rightly shocked people across Scotland and it is the role of this committee to investigate issues relating to sport.

"It is clear that this is the single biggest issue affecting sport in Scotland today.

"With this session, the committee will be seeking assurances that the current safeguards and culture within sporting organisations across Scotland ensure that these allegations could not be repeated today.

"This is why we want to question organisations both on the current safeguarding procedures in sport and also if there is any wider impact beyond football.''

Prior to the evidence session on February 7, the committee plans to ask the organisations for written evidence on the question - does the current situation regarding a number of former football players speaking publicly about allegations of historical child sexual abuse in football have any impact on your area?

They will also ask for written answers to the question what assurances can you provide that the current safeguards and culture of sporting organisations ensures that the allegations of historical child sex abuse in football could not happen today in sport?

Police Scotland Chief Constable Phil Gormley said on Thursday it is investigating 109 reports of child sexual abuse in football.

Football has been rocked by claims from former players across the UK that they were abused by people in positions of authority.

A number of Scottish clubs have started internal investigations while the SFA announced earlier this week it is to establish an independent review into allegations of child sex abuse within the sport.