LONDON: Welcome to the ‘modern world’ where we live in unfortunately with a slogan of ‘freedom’. Don’t take this shocking news as a joke that around 350 former youth football players in the UK have reported to police they were victims of child sexual abuse by their coaches.

The recent scandal has rocked British football and reputation of the game.

The National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) said a “significant” number of calls had been made to them after the former players revealed they were sexually abused as children.

A hotline set up to help victims report child sex abuse in English football clubs has received 860 calls in its first week.

“It is important to note that this is an indicative figure only, and that information is still being collated, numbers will, therefore, continue to change,” said Chief Constable Simon Bailey, the NPCC’s lead officer for child protection.

“We are working closely with the Football Association to ensure that the response to this significant and growing number of victims, at all levels of football, is coordinated effectively,” Bailey added.

“We continue to encourage those who have been the victim of child sexual abuse to report it, regardless of how long ago the abuse may have taken place.”

There are now 15 police agencies across Britain, a quarter of the country’s police force, investigating claims of sexual abuse by coaches, according to the BBC.

The scale of the abuse began to emerge last week after ex-footballers Paul Stewart, Steve Walters and Andy Woodward revealed the abuse they suffered at the hands of youth coaches.

The sexual allegations have been made against several coaches but have so far centered mainly on Barry Bennell, a youth coach with Manchester City.

Recent figures show the number of UK child sex abuse cases reported to police is dramatically on the rise, with cases being passed to police at a rate of 100 a month by the public inquiry set up following the Jimmy Savile scandal.

Savile, a BBC radio and television presenter who died in 2011, was accused of numerous allegations of sexual abuse stretching back six decades.

The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) in Britain was announced by then-UK Home Secretary Theresa May on July 7, 2014.

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