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British police have said Friday that they have identified 83 potential suspects and possible links to 98 clubs, including some of the Premier League, in the child sexual abuse scandal of English football clubs in the 70’s.

andy woodward sexual abuse

Police forces across the country have started investigations after the former player Andy Woodward revealed in his childhood had been abused by a youth team coach Crewe Alexandra, which led to other former professionals to file more charges.

The National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC) reported that they had made 639 references to agents of a helpline set up by the charity of the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, involving some 350 potential victims.

“It’s moving quickly on complaints received by police forces across the country. We are also working closely with the Football Association (FA) to ensure that all the relevant information they possess is shared to inform the research moving forward” said the police chief Simon Bailey, the leader of NPCC for the protection of minors.

The testimonies of abuses suffered by former players, some of which have collapsed in tears on television interviews, have surprised Britain, raising questions about the extent of the problem, how did the clubs and the football authorities, and if they tried to hide it.