Child Protection in Sport


About the Evidence Session

Following recent historical allegations of child sexual abuse in football, the Health and Sport Committee agreed to take evidence on the issue of child protection in sport.

At a meeting of the Committee on Tuesday 7 February, it invited the following organisations to appear in front of them.

Panel 1 was focussed on football, the following organisations were invited:

  • SFA
  • Scottish Youth Football Association
  • Professional Footballers Association

Panel 2 was focussed on other sports and child protection. The following organisations were invited:

  • Scottish Swimming
  • Scottish Sports Association
  • Sportscotland
  • COSLA 
  • Volunteer Scotland 
  • Children and Young People’s Commissioner Scotland
  • NSPCC 
  • Police Scotland
  • Children 1st

The Committee asked the organisations for written evidence in advance of their appearance in front of them, focusing on two key issues:

  • Does the current situation regarding a number of former football players speaking publically about allegations of historical child sexual abuse in football have any impact on your area?

  • What assurances can you provide that the current safeguards and culture of sporting organisations ensures that the allegations of historical child sex abuse in football could not happen today in sport?

    The following written submissions were received:

    Following the evidence session on 7 February the Committee agreed to invite the Minister for Public Health and Sport and the Minister for Childcare and Early Years to give evidence. This session was held on 21 February.

    Following the session on 21 February the Committee contacted Disclosure Scotland to requested copies of correspondence between them and the Scottish Football Association and the Scottish Youth Football Association in relation to the PVG scheme.

    On 3 March the Minister for Childcare and Early Years sent a letter to the convener providing further information on discussions with the SYFA.

    On 26 April the Committee published its report into Child protection in sport.

    On 28 April the Minister for Public Health and Sport and the Minister for Childcare and Early Years wrote to the Convener.

    On 24 May the SYFA wrote to the Convener of the Health and Sport Committee.

    On 29 June the Scottish Government responded to the Committee's report.