The Football Association's (FA) review into child sexual abuse will now be led by Clive Sheldon QC following a broadening of its scope, it has been confirmed.
When the inquiry was first announced last month, Kate Gallafent QC was appointed to lead it, but she has been replaced by Sheldon, who has experience in child protection and safeguarding matters.
A statement released on Tuesday by English football's governing body outlined the terms of reference for the review, which will seek to determine what knowledge the FA and its member clubs had regarding various allegations of sexual abuse within the game.
The purpose of the review is defined in five parts, as detailed below:
- To consider the extent to which The FA was aware of any of the issues relating to non-recent child sexual abuse which have been brought to light in the press relating to the 1970s,1980s and 1990s, and [up until around 2005].
- To consider what steps The FA took to address safeguarding/child protection issues in the sport up until 2005, and to consider any failings by The FA at the time, in particular whether it failed to act appropriately to anything raised with it relating to child sexual abuse, in relation to any football club (at any level of the game including grass roots clubs) or alleged abuser that may come to light.
- To consider the steps those clubs (that is any club at any level of the game including grass roots clubs) which are identified as linked to alleged sexual abusers took at the time of any incidents, and are taking to investigate what that club did or did not know and/or did or did not do in relation to child sexual abuse which have been brought to light in the press relating to the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s, and up until around 2005; in the event the Review finds such steps to be lacking the Review will look to extend its scope.
- To consider what lessons can be learned by The FA and/or the clubs arising out of the investigations that are taking place/have taken place.
- To make recommendations as appropriate;
The inquiry intends to bring to light any shortcomings and "ensure that lessons are learned such that any identified failings are not repeated".
It was underlined that no formal end date for the process could be determined, owing to the complexity of the matter.
An NSPCC helpline set up in light of the scandal received more than 860 calls in its first week of operation.