All Premier League players to receive mandatory sexual consent training

All Premier League players and staff must receive mandatory sexual consent training, Telegraph Sport can reveal.

New rules were introduced this season following pressure on the league and the Football Association to act on allegations made against players.

Plans for similar rules further down the pyramid are being considered, but so far nothing has been done to suspend players arrested on suspicion of rape, in defiance of calls from campaigners against gender-based violence in the world. Game.

Until now, the Premier League has run workshops for academy and first-team players from under-14s to under-23s, with content including sexual relationships, seeking consent and understanding the sexual harassment and bullying.

But such training was not mandatory for all senior staff, prompting criticism from activists and demands for widespread reform. Clubs that do not set up the training, provided face-to-face by safeguarding professionals, risk disciplinary sanctions.

The new rules were introduced following a meeting in June between the Premier League and campaign groups End Violence for Women, the Three Hijabis and Level Up. The three groups have written an open letter to league chief executive Richard Masters and FA counterpart Mark Bullingham calling on them to “confront a culture of gender-based violence”.

Shaista Aziz, co-manager of the Three Hijabis, told The Telegraph that the FA – who are ultimately responsible for acting on allegations of sexual offenses in English football – had yet to engage the group on the subject. She said: “We are delighted to see that the Premier League has adopted the action plan we sent to them in our open letter and to the FA on the urgency needed to tackle gender-based violence in football. .

“This is an important and long overdue first step in the right direction. However, we need greater transparency on how these new guidelines will be implemented by Premier League clubs. Any program to address gender-based violence must be implemented by specialists in violence against women and girls if it is to be a meaningful change.

“Details matter, as does transparency and accountability. We have had productive meetings with the Premier League on these matters and look forward to meeting again to discuss the implementation of our demands. The FA, on the other hand, continues to be opaque, quirky and dismissive in its behavior towards us. We call on the FA to urgently engage in the fight against gender-based violence in football.

“In 2022 it is inconceivable that a top footballer would be accused of this and have his employer tell him he can continue to work”

Aziz said the new rules did not meet all of his group’s demands, which include automatic suspensions for any player arrested on suspicion of rape. She said: “It’s incoherent and inconceivable that in 2022 you can have a top footballer charged with these very serious crimes and his employer saying, ‘It’s okay, he can keep going to work. This is outrageous and completely against our open letter.

Such rules are within the purview of the FA, and Aziz has been scathing for his failure to engage with campaigners, particularly in light of basking in the glory of England Women’s triumph at Euro 2022.

“I was there at Wembley on Sunday. Extraordinary final. I’ve been following this team for years. The FA can’t just use this moment as another PR and marketing exercise, and a spin and gloss, for their attempts to tell us they are inclusive. We know they are not inclusive. She went on to say that she thinks the organization is not transparent and fails to engage with campaign groups that could help “really get things done”.

Maheta Molango, chief executive of the Association of Professional Footballers, also called for mandatory training for all its members. He said: “More needs to be done in terms of educating the player – sexual consent, what’s acceptable, what’s not, and making sure that’s part of their mandatory education.”

An FA spokesperson told Telegraph Sport: “The FA strongly condemns violence and prejudice of any kind, including misogyny, and encourages anyone who has experienced or witnessed this type of behavior to report it to the police and to the competent authorities so that it can be investigated.

“The FA will take the allegations very seriously and will take action within its jurisdiction. Any such cases would be investigated once any criminal or statutory investigation is complete.


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