The football abuse hotline created in response to claims of previous child sex abuse against football coaches within the industry has taken 860 calls within its initial launch week, reported the NSPCC.
In addition, the chief executive of UK Sport, the group who funded the endeavor, stresses the importance of taking action against this major issue, and that if such efforts are not prioritized, funding would be reconsidered.
Chief executive of the NSPCC, Peter Wanless, stated: “The number of high-profile footballers bravely speaking out about their ordeal has rightly caught the attention of the entire country.”
Derek Bell, previous Newcastle football player, recently went public with claims against George Ormond who coached him in the 1970s. He expresses his anger against the abuse that occurred at the age of twelve during his time at the Montagu and North Fenham boys football club.
Such experiences have sparked a major uproar within the football community, persuading groups such as the Chelsea Football Club to begin investigations of their own.
In an interview with BBC, UK Sport’s chief executive Liz Nicholl, spoke out about the importance of all sport industries taking such claims towards football seriously, and the consequences they may face if ignored. She warned:
“We would certainly want the sport to evidence the action it’s taking to deal with the issue… if there was inaction, then we would consider our funding relationship with the sport.”
Fourteen police forces are currently working towards investigating such accusations. A statement released by the Essex Police reported, “Essex Police has received information relating to allegations of non-recent child abuse within the football community. That information will be reviewed and investigated accordingly.”
Throughout the statement they urged anyone with information pertaining to the issue of child sex abuse to speak up as it “enables police to assess whether there are current safeguarding risks and ensure appropriate action is taken.”
The NSPCC’s hotline provides a 24-hour service that urge the community to get in touch, and can be contacted on 0800 0232642.