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Man arrested in relation to historic football sex abuse


London (AFP) – A man aged in his 70s has been arrested in relation to the ongoing investigation into historic sex abuse in football which has rocked the sport in England to its foundations, the police force in question announced on Friday.

He was arrested on suspicion of indecency with children and indecent assault. He is currently in custody.

The number of football clubs who have been brought up in the historic sex abuse inquiry is 248 according to the latest figures released by the National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC) earlier this month.

The clubs range from Premier League to amateur level and the NPCC were at pains to point out that does not mean they are under investigation but have been ‘referenced when information is submitted’.

Last month the NPCC revealed four of the clubs were from the Premier League although none were named.

The number of alleged victims stands at 526 with the youngest aged four and 97% of them are male — there are 184 potential suspects who have been identified.

Not all the alleged victims or perpetrators come from football with 10 other sports implicated including rugby, gymnastics, the martial arts and athletics.

The scandal blew up last November when Andy Woodward went public over the abuse he had suffered at the hands of a convicted child molester at Crewe Alexandra.

Other ex-professional players have since gone public with several coming from Chelsea — in an era well before present owner Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich bought the club — claiming to have been abused by scout Eddie Heath in the 1970’s.

Heath, who had similar allegations levelled at him from former youth players at another London club Charlton Athletic where he went after he was sacked by Chelsea in 1979 although not for sexual impropriety, cannot defend himself as he died in 1983 aged 54.

Chelsea have launched an internal investigation over the slew of allegations of historic abuse made by former players.

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