Premier League players to receive mandatory sexual consent training 1 week ago

Premier League players to receive mandatory sexual consent training

The move comes amid debate over whether clubs should suspend playing while they're under police investigation

Premier League players and staff from all 20 clubs will be required to complete a mandatory training course in sexual consent.

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The Telegraph revealed that new rules have been implemented by the league after they and the Football Association (FA) were pressured to act as a result of sexual assault allegations made against players.

Plans to give the same training to players lower down in the football pyramid are also being considered. Until now, top-flight clubs ran workshops for academy and first-team players from under-14s to under-23s. Content included topics such as sexual relationships, seeking consent, and understanding sexual harassment and bullying.

The training wasn't mandatory for senior professionals, leading to criticism from campaigners who called for a rethink on the strategy.

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Clubs who do not comply in introducing the measure, which will be delivered by safeguarding professionals, will face disciplinary action.

The rules were brought into place following a meeting between the Premier League and campaign groups End Violence for Women, the Three Hijabis and Level Up after they all wrote an open letter to chief executive, Richard Masters, and the head of the FA, Mark Bullingham.

Premier League

Shaista Aziz, co-director of the Three Hijabis said that the FA had yet to speak to the group on the subject but is pleased to see it had acknowledged the "urgency needed to tackle gender-based violence in football".

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"This is an important first and long overdue step in the right direction. However, we need greater transparency on how this new guidance will be implemented by Premier League clubs. Any programme to tackle gender-based violence must be delivered by Violence Against Women and Girls specialists  if it’s to be a meaningful change.

"The details matter, as does transparency and accountability. We’ve had productive meetings with the Premier League on these issues and look forward to meeting again to discuss implementation of our demands. The FA, in contrast, continues to be opaque, out of step, and dismissive in its behaviours towards us. We call on the FA to urgently engage with tackling gender-based violence across football."

Currently there are no rules in place which say that a club must suspend a player if they are arrested on suspicion of rape.

One unnamed Premier League club opted not to suspend a player - who cannot be named for legal reasons - despite facing three allegations of rape against two different women, one of which has since been dropped, while the other two remain under investigation.

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"It is inconsistent and inconceivable that, in 2022, you can have a high-profile footballer accused of these very serious crimes and his employer says: 'It’s OK, he can carry on going to work.'" she added.

"It’s outrageous, and it completely goes against the grain of our open letter."

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