Former Southampton and England footballer Matt LeTissier has broken down in an interview to the press in which he described being given a naked massage as a youth player by a coach who’s currently in the middle of allegations surrounding abuse of young players in his care. The former player turned pundit with SkySports later reiterated on twitter that he had not been abused, but that he had something to add to the conversation.
Whilst admitting that this did not constitute abuse at the time, Le Tissier stated that the coaches actions were “very wrong”. The former player admitted that he wasn’t surprised by revelations currently coming out of the game.
The coach at the centre of these fresh claims Bob Higgins, has formally been acquitted of such offences in the past, and currently still denies allegations regarding abuse claims against him. The FA is currently investigating several claims, after the floodgates were seemingly opened by ex-pro’s coming out about abuse by former Crewe scout Barry Bennell these claims have exploded in the last few weeks, as more and more ex players feel that the time is now right to bring claims to the surface. It’s hoped that it will stop future abuses from taking place, by bringing the issue in to the light. Since the start more than 20 players have now added their names to the list of those who were abused as youth players.
The claims against Bob Higgins have not prevented him from working in the game, it’s known that he was still working in football in 2012. It has also emerged that social services, and the police had warned local schools about the coach in 1997. But still he wasn’t stopped. In recent years the laws surrounding who works with children have been severely tightened but it’s feared that as he was never convicted of wrongdoing that he still would have been allowed to work with children.
The FA’s internal review has concluded that so far over 350 ex players are thought to have come forward. It’s thought that there could be as many as 55 different clubs involved, in what appears to be a large scale systemic problem in the game. It’s by far the biggest investigation in the history of the English football association, and would appear to be only just getting started.
Joseph is a 34 year old freelance writer from London. He has a wide interest in politics and specialises in the subject. He's also a blog writer in his spare time.