Premier League stars ‘will receive sexual consent training’ in wake of allegations made against players

PREMIER League stars will receive mandatory sexual consent training following a number of allegations made against players.

New rules for head-to-head training have been introduced this season for all players following pressure on the league and the Football Association to act.

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Premier League stars will receive mandatory sexual consent training following a number of allegations made against playersCredit: Getty

Until now, the Premier League has held workshops for academy and first-team players, from Under-14s to Under-23s.

Content included sexual relationships, seeking consent, and understanding sexual harassment and bullying.

However, such training was not mandatory for all senior managers, prompting criticism and demands for widespread reform.

Clubs that fail to introduce the new training, which is to be provided by protection professionals, will face disciplinary action, reports The Telegraph.

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Plans for similar rules in the lower leagues are under consideration, but so far nothing has been done to suspend players arrested on suspicion of rape.

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.

They wrote an open letter to Richard Masters, the league’s chief executive, and Mark Bullingham, his FA counterpart, calling on them to “confront a culture of gender-based violence”.

Shaista Aziz, co-manager of the Three Hijabis, said the FA is ultimately responsible for acting on allegations of sexual offenses in English football, but has not yet committed the group to the subject.

She said: “We are delighted to see that the Premier League has adopted the action plan which we sent to them in our open letter and to the FA.

“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.

“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.

“We have had productive meetings with the Premier League on these matters and we look forward to seeing each other again.

“The FA, on the other hand, continue to be opaque, quirky and dismissive in their behavior towards us. We call on the FA to urgently engage in the fight against gender-based violence in football.

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. It’s scandalous.

“The FA cannot just use this moment as another PR and marketing exercise, and 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 felt the organization was failing to engage with campaign groups that could help “really get things done”.

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An FA spokesperson said: “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 competent authorities.

“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 completed.

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