FA says it ‘will not get complacent’ after criticisms from Sheldon Review into sexual abuse in football

The Football Association says it is confident in its safeguarding measures but “will not get complacent” following the 700-page report by Clive Sheldon QC into child sexual abuse in the game.

The inquiry, which covered a quarter century from 1970 to 1995, criticised the FA for “significant institutional failings” having taken until 2000 to make serious progress with a culture of safeguarding. 

“The FA acted far too slowly to introduce appropriate and sufficient child protection measures,” it read. “And to ensure that safeguarding was taken sufficiently seriously by those involved in the game. These are significant institutional failings for which there is no excuse.”

The report found that “mistakes were still made” even after May 2000, when the FA launched a comprehensive child protection policy and programme.

James Kendall, the FA’s director of football development, echoed FA chief executive Mark Bullingham’s label that the extensive findings of the report marked a “dark day for football,” but added: “We have put in place significant measures in recent years. We are confident of the measures we have got in place, but will not be complacent. We will keep building on them and adopt all of Clive Sheldon’s recommendations and keep moving forward to make the game as safe as possible.”


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