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Pedophilia in English football: forty years later, Chelsea recognizes that his recruiter was a predator
Chelsea announced in 2016 the opening of an investigation into the actions of Eddie Heath, recruiter for the Blues from 1968 to 1979, and died in 1983. JUSTIN TALLIS / AFP

Youth from the Chelsea Football Club were victimized in the 1970s by sexual assaults by a recruiter, along with other employees who "Closed your eyes", says Tuesday, August 6, an independant report made at the request of the club. Chelsea announced in 2016 the opening of an investigation into the actions of Eddie Heath, recruiter for the Blues from 1968 to 1979, and died in 1983.

It was a "Dangerous and prolific child molester", says the Premier League club in a statement accompanying the publication of the report. "Although today's club is very different from the club of the day (Â € |) we will not hesitate to take responsibility for what has happened ", he says, while claims for compensation of victims are being evaluated. In December 2016, former Chelsea player Gary Johnson had claimed to have been paid 50,000 pounds in 2015 (59,155 euros at that time) by the football club in exchange for his silence on the sexual assaults of which he was a victim.

Read also What we know about the pedophile affair in English football

At least 23 Heath victims

According to the report's findings, led by lawyer Charles Geekie, Heath found himself in a position to assault 10 and 17-year-old boys without encountering any opposition from the part of the club. Me Geekie interviewed 23 victims who described the former recruiter as a  " manipulator" whose sexual predator behavior was an open secret for both players and club staff.

"The boys all knew that you had to be many to be safe: you did not want to be the last in the van, where you could be fiddled with or spanked. . He was known as â € œEddie the nightmareâ €, says a witness quoted in the report.

Heath was spying on the players in the toilets or shower stalls. He invited his  " favorites» at home to watch games, offered them money, sweets, liaised with their parents. He was also used to doing  " insinuations" Sex in the locker room, but was careful that "His most serious sexual assaults take place in private", Says the report.

Witness accuses club employees of having "Shut the eyes on what he was doing". Â € œIt was notorious that Eddie Heath was a â € œPointerâ €? Â €A term used in prison slang, a sex offender, said a few years ago, Alan Hudson, a former Chelsea player.

Heath was fired after arriving in 1979 at the head of Geoff Hurst's club, scorer of a hat-trick in the 1966 World Cup 4-2 final. by England against Germany.

350 potential victims

The English Football Federation (FA) and the English clubs are accused of having covered for decades paedophilia acts whose number of potential victims has risen to 350, according to a police report released in December 2016.

It all started with Andy Woodward, a 43-year-old club player from Crewe Alexandra, who recounted his ordeal at Guardian in November 2016. Since then, over twenty players, including several international alumni, have spoken to explain that they were sexually assaulted by a coach or recruiter when they were children.

Several inquiries were opened by Scotland Yard, but also in the regions of London, Manchester, Cambridge, Birmingham, Liverpool, Norwich, Newcastle, Scotland and North Wales.

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