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More British soccer abuse claims surface

Press Association logoPress Association 11/04/2017 Press Association Scotland Reporter

Police Scotland have appealed for any abuse victims to contact them as fresh allegations of sexual offences in youth soccer came to light.

A BBC documentary heard from alleged victims of a Celtic Boys Club coach and revealed new claims about former youth coach Gordon Neely, who died in 2014.

Two players at the boys club, which was a separate entity from Celtic Football Club, told the programme Football Abuse: The Ugly Side Of The Beautiful Game they were abused for three and four years respectively in the 1980s and 90s.

The sport has been rocked by claims from former players across the UK that they were abused by people in positions of authority, and Police Scotland launched a major inquiry in to historical child abuse in football at the end of last year.

In February, the force said it had received 140 reports of alleged abuse.

A number of professional clubs have begun internal investigations, while the Scottish Football Association has set up an independent review in to allegations across the game in Scotland.

"Child abuse is incredibly difficult for people to revisit and to talk about," Detective Chief Inspector Sarah Taylor, from the National Child Abuse Investigation Unit, said.

"Our officers are highly specialised and are trained to deal with all reports sensitively. We would ask anyone who has been the victim of abuse, or has information about potential abuse, to contact us.

"We will listen and we will investigate and our first priority will be to ensure that there are no children at risk now."

SFA chief executive Stewart Regan said: "The independent review in to allegations of historic child sexual abuse in Scottish football is currently under way and we await its findings.

"The latest allegations are a matter for the investigatory authority, Police Scotland."

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