Police in Cambridgeshire have confirmed they are investigating Peterborough United and Cambridge United in relation to a number of historical allegations of sexual abuse in football it has been revealed today, Tuesday November 29.
A Cambridgeshire Police spokesperson said: “We have received multiple historical allegations from the NSPCC of abuse related to football in Cambridgeshire.
“The inquiries were received recently (the weekend of 26/27th) and are being looked into.”
A spokesman confirmed to the Peterborough Telegraph that both Peterborough United and Cambridge United were being investigated but could not confirm how many people were implicated by the allegations.
The Peterborough Telegraph understands Peterborough United will be issuing a statement to this newspaper shortly.
Chris Pringle, chief executive of the Cambridgeshire FA, said they did not have the details of the allegations, but a network was now in place to prevent abuse happening again.
He said: “We work with all affiliated clubs to make sure they have all the training they need.
“Coaches have to go through the process of getting their qualifications, CRC checks (previously CRB), and safeguarding courses. “There is a network of trusted people at affiliated clubs where people can raise issues and concerns.
“It has changed a lot in just 10 years. Things may change further as part of the FAs investigation into this, and we can’t speculate on that.”
The issue has hit the national headlines in the last 10 days with a number of victims coming forward to implicate professional clubs after ex-Crewe Alexander player Andy Woodward, 43, waved his lifetime anonymity to reveal the extent of sexual abuse in football and discuss candidly his abuse by ex-junior coach Barry Bennell, who is now in prison.
Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA) chief executive Gordon Taylor says more than 20 former footballers have come forward regarding allegations of sexual abuse.
Taylor said at least “six or seven clubs” including Crewe, Manchester City, Blackpool, Leeds, Stoke and Newcastle were connected with “particular individuals”.
NSPCC Ambassdor, Wayne Rooney said: “It’s awful that some of my colleagues have suffered this way whilst playing the sport that I and they love. Andy has been really brave to come forward and I would encourage anyone who has or is suffering from abuse to call the NSPCC’s new football helpline.
“It’s important that people know that it’s ok to speak out, there is help available and that they don’t need to suffer in silence.”
Peter Wanless, chief executive of the NSPCC, said: “There must be no hiding place for sexual abuse in our national game and there may be many others who suffered through such horrors as young players but have never come forward.
“As this week’s revelations have laid bare, people must be able to speak out and get the help they need, and we know that can often be more difficult for men and boys.
“We welcome the FA’s commitment to helping those in the game get the help and support they need.”
The NSPCC helpline is 0800 023 2642