Premier League to introduce sexual consent training for all players in ‘defining moment for football’

The guidance will be issued to every single top-flight footballer following a spate of negative headlines surrounding the men’s game

The Premier League is set to introduce mandatory sexual consent training for all players and staff. The news follows much-publicised police action against several top-flight footballers over the past year.


Women’s groups have been calling for the Premier League to do more to educate its players on consent for some time.

Back in February, The End Violence Against Women Coalition, The Three Hijabis and Level Up penned an open letter to the FA and Premier League requesting action, and the latter has now acted.

What will the Premier League’s consent training entail?

As first reported by the Telegraph, the training will include content on recognising sexual harassment and bullying, relationships and obtaining consent.

The Premier League has previously run workshops for players aged between 14 and 23, but this is now being extended to all players and staff.

Although the Premier League has decided to introduce these measures, it is unclear whether the training will be extended to the entire footballing pyramid. Shaista Aziz, co-director of the Three Hijabis, has claimed that the FA are yet to engage with the group following their open letter.

How have women’s groups reacted to the news?

“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.

“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 chairman Maheta Molango also welcomed the news, saying: “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.”

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