News, Culture & Society

Premier League players to receive mandatory sexual consent training

Premier League players will receive mandatory sexual consent training in bid to tackle ‘gender-based violence’… but decision to allow stars accused of serious crimes to continue playing is branded ‘OUTRAGEOUS’ by campaigners

  • Premier League players are set to receive mandatory sexual consent training
  • The rule to make the programme mandatory was introduced last season 
  • PFA chief executive Maheta Malongo wants players educated on the subject 

Premier League players and staff will receive sexual consent training after the top flight made it mandatory last season.

Discussions were held between the Premier League and campaign groups End Violence for Women, the Three Hijabis and Level Up back in June over the matter of confronting ‘gender-based violence’.

Shaista Aziz, co-director of the Three Hijabis, has praised the Premier League for their swift action but has hit out at the FA for their lack of urgency in dealing with the issue.  

Shaista Aziz (above) is happy that mandatory sexual consent training is in the Premier League

‘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,’ Aziz said, as reported by The Telegraph.

‘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.’ 

PFA chief executive Maheta Malongo wants players to be educated on sexual consent

PFA chief executive Maheta Malongo wants players to be educated on sexual consent

The chief executive of the Professional Footballers’ Association, Maheta Molango, has also called for more action to educate players on sexual consent.

‘More needs to be done in terms of the education of the player – sexual consent, what is acceptable, what is not acceptable, and making sure that this is part of their mandatory education,’ he said.

The Premier League’s decision to make the training mandatory came before a top-flight player was arrested on suspicion of rape last month. 

The 29-year-old international footballer was further arrested while in custody following two more allegations of raping a different woman in April and June 2021, but it has since been confirmed that he will face ‘no further action’ for the June 2021 offence.

His bail has been extended until October, and he is currently free to play in matches.

In their open letter to the Premier League and FA in June, the three campaign groups demanded that players should be handed automatic suspensions if they are arrested on suspicion of rape.

Aziz has been left angered that her group’s request has not been met.

‘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,’ she added.

An FA spokesperson has clarified to The Telegraph that the organisation takes any allegations relating to sexual consent ‘extremely seriously’.

They said: ‘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.’