London's Metropolitan Police said they are investigating 30 city soccer clubs for possible historical child abuse violations involving former players who say they were abused by authority figures as children or teenagers. File Photo by Andy Rain/European Pressphoto Agency
LONDON, Dec. 13 (UPI) -- London police are investigating claims of child abuse involving a number of soccer clubs, professional and amateur, officials said.
Metropolitan police are looking into allegations made by former players associated with the clubs, who have said they were abused by persons of authority in their child and teenage years.
Several police departments are involved in the inquiries, as the Scottish Football Association has set up its own review.
According to victims and officials, nearly 100 soccer clubs are involved in the investigation -- including 30 in London. Four are in the Premier League, two are in the Championship and three are in Leagues One and Two.
More than a dozen London teams are in the four top English football leagues, with five in the Premiership -- Chelsea, Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur, West Ham and Crystal Palace. Police, though, haven't named any of the clubs involved in the investigation.
According to police, 98 percent of the alleged victims are male.
Chelsea, which is conducting its own review, has already apologized to former player Gary Johnson over abuse he said he suffered in the 1970s. Another club, Queens Park Rangers F.C., said it's taking allegations made against one former employee seriously and Charlton Athletic has also opened an investigation.
The sport's governing body in England, the Football Association, said it's trying to determine whether more could have been done to stem incidents of abuse of minors.