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  • Since opening, hundreds contacted the new hotline about child sex abuse within the sport.

    Since opening, hundreds contacted the new hotline about child sex abuse within the sport. | Photo: AFP

Published 1 December 2016

A new helpline, supported by Britain's Football Association, offers support to anyone sexually abused in football as a child.

Around 350 people have come forward to say they were sexually abused as children by youth football coaches in Britain, the National Police Chiefs' Council, NPCC, said Thursday.

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The scale of the abuse began to emerge last week after a string of ex-footballers, including England internationals, told of the ordeals inflicted upon them by coaches.

"We are working closely with the Football Association to ensure that the response to this significant and growing number of victims, at all levels of football, is co-ordinated effectively," said Chief Constable Simon Bailey, the NPCC's lead for child protection.

The NPCC said a "significant" amount of calls had been made to police after the former players came forward to speak out about the abuse they suffered as children

The NSPCC said the helpline had received 860 calls in its first week, enabling it to refer 60 cases to police or social services within three days of the hotline launching.

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