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Christian campaigner: there was an abuse cover-up in football

by Aaron James

Peter Saunders, from the National Association for People Abused in Childhood (NAPAC), was speaking after a number of police forces across England revealed they're investigating claims of non-recent child abuse within the football community.

Hampshire and Cheshire police forces made the announcements that they are investigating more than one individual.

Several former players have come out to declare they were abused by football coaches when they were boys. The group waived their right to anonymity in the hope others who've suffered would come forward for help.

It's after Andy Woodward (below, top), the former Crewe Alexandra player, revealed to The Guardian last week that he was abused during his time as a youth player there by convicted paedophile and coach Barry Bennell (below, bottom).

A hotline set up by the NSPCC for people who've suffered abuse in football received more than 50 calls within its first two hours on Thursday.

Former Manchester City youth player Jason Dunford has also claimed that a paedophile ring was running in football and that it was covered up.


Speaking on Premier's News Hour, Peter Saunders said: "I was talking to a Premier League footballer some years ago, a Liverpool player, who said he was very aware of many lads he referred to in the changing rooms that had suffered from these kinds of crimes, but it's a very, very difficult thing to talk about as a victim.

"There have been widespread cover-ups of these crimes across all sorts of institutions, not just the sporting world: churches, boarding schools. Thank God at long last people are feeling able to speak out about it and hopefully things will be able to improve in the future.

"Of course Jesus himself made reference to the abuse of children. He condemned absolutely nobody in this world except people who hurt children, he singled them out, and I think we should take very serious note of that."

Listen to Premier's Aaron James speaking to Peter Saunders on the News Hour:

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