All Premier League players ‘to undergo mandatory sexual consent training’

Every Premier League player and members of staff must now have sexual consent training after the league’s chief executive Richard Masters met with three campaign groups over the summer.

All Premier League players and staff are to receive mandatory sexual consent training as part of new rules for the upcoming season.

The Telegraph report that, in the wake of allegations made against players, new rules will be brought in this season by the Football Association. While there is a consideration to have such education introduced further down the football pyramid, so far there has been no move to bring in legislation to suspend players arrested on suspicion of rape.

The Premier League has run workshops for the academy and first-team players from Under-14s to Under-23s to educate players about sexual relationships, seeking consent, and understanding sexual harassment and bullying – but this was not mandatory for senior professionals.

Now if clubs fail to deliver the new training, they will face disciplinary action. These fresh rules have been brought in after the Premier League had a meeting with campaign groups End Violence for Women, the Three Hijabis and Level Up.

They had before sent an open letter to Richard Masters, the league’s chief executive, and Mark Bullingham, an FA executive, where they asked them ‘to confront a culture of gender-based violence’.

“We’re pleased to see the Premier League has adopted the action plan we sent in our open letter to them and the FA on the urgency needed to tackle gender-based violence in football.

“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.”

Shaista Aziz, co-director of the Three Hijabis, told The Telegraph.

Despite the reforms, Aziz said the new rules did not meet the entirety of the demands of her group. They had also asked for automatic suspensions for any players arrested on suspicion of rape. She said:

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

“The FA strongly condemns violence and prejudice of any kind, including misogyny, and encourages 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.

“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.”

An FA spokesperson told The Telegraph.

Source: The Telegraph

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