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83 suspects in soccer abuse probe: police

AAP logoAAP 8/12/2016

Police say 98 clubs are impacted and 83 potential suspects have been identified in allegations of non-recent child sexual abuse in British football.

"The information is forwarded by forces to Operation Hydrant ... as part of the process of operational coordination across the police service," the National Police Chiefs' Council (NPCC) said in a statement.

The police said a total of 639 referrals had been made to Hydrant from calls to the National Society for the Protection of Children. The indicative number of victims remains at 350.

And it was stressed that the clubs named were not necessarily under investigation but the total number referenced when information was submitted.

"Allegations received by police forces across the country are being swiftly acted upon," NPCC lead for child protection, chief constable Simon Bailey said.

"We are ensuring an efficient and effective service-wide approach to investigating allegations, removing the potential for duplication and enabling the timely and effective sharing of intelligence and information between forces.

"We are also liaising closely with the Football Association to ensure all relevant information they hold is shared to inform investigations moving forward."

The scandal of historic sexual abuse broke when Andy Woodward revealed to the Guardian newspaper that he had been sexually abused by a coach when he was a young boy at Crewe.

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