Football Association chiefs admit it is in crisis following child sex abuse allegations but defend decision not to launch full-scale independent inquiry

Frank Dalleres
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Clarke conceded that the allegations had plunged the FA into a crisis (Source: Getty)

Football Association chiefs have defended their handling of revelations of wide-ranging child abuse in the English game.

Chairman Greg Clarke conceded that the scandal had plunged the FA into the biggest crisis he could remember but insisted that the governing body had “acted very quickly” to launch an internal investigation.

Clarke added that the FA would not speak to any alleged victims yet in order to let police make their enquiries.

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“The main thing to do is not to encumber the criminal investigations of the police by tainting their evidence,” he said.

Clarke also defended the decision not to discuss the matter with his predecessors, for fear of being accused of presiding over “an old boys’ inquiry”.

QC Kate Gallafent has been appointed to lead the internal FA review. “It will be her conclusions, we will act upon those conclusions and those conclusions will be disclosed,” Clarke added.

Culture, Media and Sport select committee chairman Damian Collins MP has criticised the FA for not holding a wider investigation after more than 20 footballers alleged they had been sexually abused as children.

Seven police forces are investigating the claims.

Former darts world champion Eric Bristow has been dropped as a pundit by Sky Sports after he made disparaging remarks about the alleged victims on social media.

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