FA boss Greg Clarke won't rule out child abuse cover-up in football
By Stephen Turner
Last Updated: 29/11/16 5:11pm
Football Association chairman Greg Clarke says the ongoing abuse scandal is the biggest he can recall and he cannot rule out the possibility of a past cover-up.
Police forces around the country are now investigating allegations of historical abuse involving football coaches after former player Andy Woodward's decision to go public on his own experiences prompted others to come forward.
The FA has commissioned an independent inquiry into its own handling of past abuse claims, a probe which will "look into what information The FA was aware of at the relevant times...what clubs were aware of, and what action was or should have been taken."
And Clarke has told Sky Sports News HQ football was part of a society "sleepwalking" while children were being abused on a large scale.
He said: "It's certainly the biggest [crisis] I can remember. I think the moral consequences of failing to deal with some of these issues in the past we must get to the bottom of.
"I don't know if there's a cover-up or not, I really don't know. I suspect like many big problems people aren't drawn towards them.
"My methodology is that if there's a problem run towards it - embrace it, fix it, disclose everything that happened.
"Institutionally, all organisations in the old days used to protect themselves by keeping quiet and closing ranks. That's completely inappropriate and unacceptable today which is why we have an independent-led inquiry. I'm not ruling out anything.
"I'm angry that society did nothing at the time. I looked at the evidence of Operation Hydrant - I think there are up to 2,500 people under investigation across churches, youth societies, prisons, politics, the media, sport.
"Society seemed to have a total unawareness of the nature of the problem. In the 1990s society was sleepwalking and we were part of that problem."