(UDHAYAM, COLOMBO) – British police investigating allegations of widespread child sex abuse at soccer clubs dating back to the 1970s says they had now identified 184 potential suspects and 526 victims.
Police forces across UK launched inquiries after former player Andy Woodward revealed in November that he had been abused as a boy by a youth team coach, prompting other ex-professionals to come forward with allegations.
The soccer abuse revelations are the latest in a series of paedophile scandals to have hit Britain in recent years.
So far 1,016 referrals of sports abuse have been passed to specialist detectives from a child protection charity and police.
The number of possible victims is now 526, up from about 350 last month, with 126 suspects.
The National Police Chiefs Council said 248 soccer clubs had been impacted, from English premier league teams to amateur sides, although not all were under investigation.
Police said 22 of the referrals related to other sports including rugby, gymnastics, martial arts, tennis, wrestling, golf, sailing, athletics, cricket, and swimming. (Courtesy – Reuters)