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The importance of safeguarding in sport

28 June 2011

The Scottish footballer Craig Thomson has today been suspended from Hearts Football Club after he was placed on a sex offenders list for inappropriate conduct toward underage girls on the internet.

The Club initially came out in support of Thomson. However, they have since suspended the player following extensive media coverage and pressure from one of Scotland’s leading child welfare charities. Furthermore, it was reported yesterday that the club’s water sponsor cancelled its contract as a result.

The importance of safeguarding in sport has never been doubted, but this incident shows that its significance to large, high profile clubs and to their commercial contracts cannot be underestimated.

Unwanted media coverage, a suspended player and the loss of sponsorship – for those that questioned the importance of safeguarding children in sports settings, this serves as a reminder of the possible consequences.

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