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English soccer sex abuse investigation expands as more victims come forward

Signs displayed at the Crewe Alexandra Football Club ground in Crewe, Britain on November 27, 2016.

REUTERS

LONDON, England -- The English Football Association (FA) said its review of sexual abuse by youth soccer coaches was expanding and a new lawyer had been appointed.

In a statement, the FA said the review under Clive Sheldon will start immediately and added that “the precise number of players, alleged abusers and clubs ... is unknown.”

The governing body said Sheldon replaced Kate Gallafent as the review’s lead lawyer “in the light of the increased scope of the review” and because of her “professional commitments.”

Former players had been going public over the last three weeks revealing abuses by coaches from the 1970s, prompting police investigations across England.

In the statement, the FA urged “anyone who was a childhood victim of sexual abuse in football” to call a national support hotline.        

The FA review will look into whether there were failings by the organization and into the activities at clubs at the time of the abuses.