Wednesday 08 December 2021

Four men report sexual abuse as teenagers at Dutch football clubs

Photo: Depositphotos.com

Several former youth players at football club PSV Eindhoven have told the Volkskrant that they were sexually abused by team leaders while in their teens.

At the weekend, the paper reported on two men who said they had been abused at PSV and Arnhem club Vitesse. It was the first time reports of abuse had been made involving Dutch professional football clubs since the British scandal involving hundreds of youth players broke last year.

Since then, two other men have come forward, both of whom said they were abused at PSV, one in the 1970s and one in the 1980s, the Volkskrant said. The claims involved different club officials

‘We have invited the men to tell us what happened and we are going to offer them help to process the trauma,’ club director Toon Gerbrands told the Volkskrant.

Former minister Klaas de Vries (73) is currently heading up an investigation into sexual abuse of children within Dutch sports clubs on behalf of sports federation NOC*NSF

The NOC*NSF was prompted to launch the investigation after hundreds of footballers came forward in Britain to talk about being abused by trainers. And last December, Dutch cyclist Petra de Bruin told Nieuwsuur she had been abused by her trainer for years.

The Volkskrant said in March it had spoken to dozens of victims who said they didn’t have any faith in the complaints procedures at the clubs or the NOC*NSF itself. Victims are often reluctant to come forward for fear of not being believed and ending up in legal procedures with uncertain outcomes because it is their word against the perpetrator’s’, the paper said.

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