Child sexual abuse and the SFA

We welcome the Interim Report of the Independent Review of Sexual Abuse in Scottish Football, which was published on June 15th 2018.

Safe to Say recognised in 2017, the distressing plight which came to light within football in Scotland and across the UK.  We applaud the courage of the footballers who have come forward to disclose their experiences of child sexual abuse. We hope that the recommendations will be the basis for improvements in the protection of young people and the reduction of risk in Scottish Football.

We note the main findings, that the Scottish F.A. should

  • “increase and improve its capacity to respond to allegations of non-recent sexual abuse and to facilitate access to support for those personally affected.”
  • “that the structure of the Scottish F.A. and Scottish football is not fit for purpose in relation to the safeguarding of young people.
  • “Scottish football urgently requires a comprehensive Safeguarding Strategy…emphasises pro-activity and prevention in relation to the protection of young people and the reduction of risk.”

We are particularly interested in the “culture change within football in Scotland being imperative, this includes challenging negative and harmful attitudes to mental health and distorted thinking about sexual conduct and gender based violence; changing the widely held perception of “men in blazers” controlling the delivery of sport in Scotland; effectively and decisively challenging homophobic attitudes and behaviours which seriously reinforce the fears and silence of young men when faced with sexual abuse or exploitation.”

We look forward to the S.F.A. actively working towards implementing these recommendations.