Premier League introduces mandatory sexual consent training for all players


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The new measures have been called “a defining moment for football”
The Premier League has introduced mandatory sexual consent training for players and staff.

It comes after recent high-profile police action in England involving top-flight footballers.

Training sessions will address healthy, respectful relationships and include understanding harassment and consent.

“Today’s announcement is a long overdue and important first step in the right direction,” said End Violence Against Women Coalition director Andrea Simon.

“Gender-based violence is a pervasive and systemic issue that must be addressed across the football industry as a whole, with urgent and coordinated action.”

The measures, first reported by the Telegraph, are part of a wider safeguarding education programme that was updated and developed after the Sheldon report.

The Sheldon report was an independent review into historical child sexual abuse in football. It revealed “significant institutional failings” by the Football Association and said the organisation “did not do enough to keep children safe”.

In February, a coalition of women’s groups sent an open letter to the FA and Premier League urging them “to confront a culture of gender-based violence”.

The coalition, which is made up of the End Violence Against Women Coalition, The Three Hijabis and Level Up, met with the Premier League in March and June. However, the groups have said the FA has not engaged with them.

In response, the FA said: “We strongly condemn violence and prejudice of any kind, including misogyny, and encourage anyone who has been the subject of, or witness to, this type of behaviour to report it to the police and the relevant authorities so that it can be investigated.

“Violence and misogyny are societal issues. If incidents of this nature take place in a football environment, the FA will take the allegations extremely seriously and will take action within its jurisdiction.

“Any such case would be investigated once any criminal or statutory investigation is concluded.”

As well as mandatory training, the coalition also asked for clubs to “adopt clear sexual misconduct policies and protocols” and sign a charter “to tackle unacceptable behaviour”.

“What better legacy for the Lionesses’ historic win than uniting us all in meaningful action to transform football’s culture?” added Simon.

Seyi Falodun-Liburd, the co-director of gender justice campaigning group Level Up, added: “This is a defining moment for football. The Premier League is finally beginning to recognise the enormous influence that this sport has on our culture and our individual behaviours.”


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