Football sex abuse: police referrals almost 400% higher than opening days of Jimmy Savile scandal

Football sex abuse: police referrals higher than opening days of Jimmy Savile scandal

The football sex abuse scandal is growing by the day

Thursday, December 1, 2016

The NSPCC has said referrals from calls to a new dedicated football abuse hotline have more than tripled the amount made in the first three days of the scandal about Jimmy Savile.

The helpline was set up with the support and funding of the Football Association after Andy Woodward said he'd been abused as a youth player. More than 860 calls had been made to the helpline in its first week after it was launched last week to support the victims of child sex abuse within football.

Within the first three days, they'd made 60 referrals to police forces - at this point in the opening days of the Jimmy Savile scandal, there had only been seventeen. 

Its chief executive, Peter Wanless, revealed there had been a "staggering surge" in the numbers of people calling the line.

He said: "The number of high-profile footballers bravely speaking out about their ordeal has rightly caught the attention of the entire country.

"We've had a staggering surge in calls to our football hotline, which reveals the worrying extent of abuse that had been going on within the sport.

"In future, footballers - both young players and former athletes - must have the confidence to open up about sexual abuse and feel able to come forward."

The NSPCC's football abuse helpline can be called at any time on 0800 023 2642.