PSV calls on all Dutch football clubs to open a sex abuse helpline

Football club PSV in Eindhoven is calling on all professional clubs in the Netherlands to open their own helpline where players and former players can report sexual abuse. Clubs need to do more to help the victims, PSV director Toon Gerbrands said to the Volkskrant.

A month after establishing such a hotline, PSV has received five reports of sexual abuse. The abuse happened between the 60s and the 90s and involve at least three perpetrators, all of whom don't work at the club anymore. "It sounds strange in such a nasty affair, but the fact that we receive reports, I see as a compliment", Gerbrands said to the newspaper. "The silence is broken."

In England, where hundreds of victims have come forward over the past months, many clubs refuse to apologize because they worry about damage claims. Gerbrands doesn't think this should be an issue. "We as club are responsible, as simple as that. If that happens, we will act on it. So far no victim asked for money. They want to tell their story. Or they want help. That we give them."

Dutch football association KNVB agrees that clubs should have a place for victims to report what happened to them. "It's important that clubs don't wait until there is an incident, but that they are already available for people who experienced something", a spokesperson said to the newspaper. "The issue picked up speed this month. This can be encouraging for other victims to come forward. That is possible at the KNVB, but it must also be possible at all clubs."