Premier League to introduce sexual consent training for all players in ‘defining moment for football’

The advice will be issued to every top footballer following a series of negative headlines surrounding the men’s game.

The Premier League is set to introduce mandatory sexual consent training for all players and staff. The news follows a high-profile police action against several top footballers over the past year.

Women’s groups have for some time been calling on the Premier League to do more to educate its players about consent.

In February, The End Violence Against Women Coalition, The Three Hijabis and Level Up wrote an open letter to the FA and the Premier League demanding action, and the latter have now acted.

What will Premier League consent training consist of?

As first reported by the Telegraphthe training will include content on recognizing sexual harassment and bullying, relationships and obtaining consent.

The Premier League has previously held workshops for players aged 14 to 23, but this is now extended to all players and staff.

Although the Premier League has decided to introduce these measures, it is unclear whether the training will be extended to the whole football pyramid. Shaista Aziz, co-manager of the Three Hijabis, claimed the FA had not yet engaged in dialogue with the group following their open letter.

How did women’s groups react to the news?

“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,” said Aziz.

“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 gender-based violence program 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 we look forward to meeting again to discuss the implementation of our demands.

“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.”

PFA chairman Maheta Molango also welcomed the news, saying: “More needs to be done in terms of player education – sexual consent, what’s acceptable, what’s not, and making sure that it is part of their compulsory education.”

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