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Two Dutch players reveal child sex abuse at clubs: report

The Hague (AFP) – Two former youth players at Dutch first-division clubs Vitesse Arnhem and PSV Eindhoven revealed they were sexually abused by coaches as aspiring footballers, in the first such cases reported in The Netherlands, a report said Saturday.

It comes after a call by the authoritative De Volkskrant newspaper for abused players to come forward following a major sex-abuse scandal that has rocked British football.

Former Vitesse youth player Renald Majoor described how he was 12 when he was sexually assaulted by a coach from the club at his home in 1996.

The coach, identified only as 47-year-old Andre Z, was later suspended but the club kept the incident under wraps.

The suspect was later handed a six-week suspended sentence and died in 2011, De Volkskrant said.

In the second case a former PSV youth player who asked to remain anonymous told the paper he was abused in the 1960s from the age of eight and he is quoted saying that “it’s likely that other young footballers also could have been abused”.

The accused left The Netherlands in the 1970s and has not been involved with PSV since.

PSV and Vitesse issued statements on Saturday saying they were “utterly shocked” and called for more victims to come forward.

The Royal Dutch Football Federation (KNVB) too called on players who suffered abuse to contact them.

Vitesse general manager Joost de Wit said in a statement the club “feels responsible for Renald and sincerely regrets what happened to him and the scars it left”.

Now 33, Majoor gave up football when he was 18 because of psychological problems resulting from the abuse.

“It’s utterly shocking, particularly for the victim,” PSV general manager Toon Gerbrands said in a separate statement.

Gerbrands added that the club was talking to the former youth player, who was “willing to share his experiences”.

“After listening to him we cannot exclude other such incidents and we call on other victims to please report any other such cases of abuse,” Gerbrands said.

Operations director Gijs de Jong said the KNVB was “seriously moved by Renald Majoor’s revelations”.

A Dutch commission of enquiry into sexual abuse in sport, including football, started its investigations this week following the revelations in Britain.

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

Other ex-professional players have since gone public in Britain.

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