Scottish FA statement in response to Health and Sport Committee report:

“We welcome the Scottish Government’s recognition that the current format of the PVG scheme is ineffective at present and may not be preventing unsuitable people from doing regulated work. We are in full agreement that this situation should be rectified and the scheme overhauled as soon as possible.

“From the moment allegations of child sexual abuse in Scottish football were raised last year, we have been proactive in taking the necessary measures – in partnership with the relevant authorities - to deal with these alleged cases of historic abuse but also to give confidence to young players and their families that Scottish football is a safe environment in 2017.

“We have been working with all affiliated national associations, including the Scottish Youth FA to ensure that each of these bodies makes any changes required to ensure they are fit for purpose in this vital area of child protection.

“The independent review into the historic allegations is well under way and we will continue to provide updates on the progress made. In parallel, we are engaged in regular dialogue with Police Scotland, who are the investigatory authority in this matter. We have contributed at length to the Health and Sport Committee and note the comments of its chair and the publication of today’s report.

“For absolute clarity, as the Scottish Youth FA is the employing organisation for youth football in Scotland. The responsibility for PVG checks in youth football rests with the Scottish Youth FA.  

“It is important to stress that all coaches and staff engaged directly by the Scottish FA are fully compliant with the PVG legislation. We have also outlined to the committee the extent of our protracted correspondence with the Scottish Youth FA on the matter of their outstanding checks and gaining clarity on the exact number that remain to be fulfilled.

“The board of the Scottish FA has also issued a directive to all our members, including affiliated national bodies such as the Scottish Youth FA, to comply with all policies and procedures issued by the Scottish FA on matters of child protection and wellbeing. We have set deadlines for compliance and implementation and any failure to meet these will be regarded as a breach of our regulations and will result in a referral to the Compliance Officer for potential action by an independent Judicial Panel.

“We believe we have demonstrated the seriousness of our intentions and therefore strongly refute and do not recognise Mr Findlay’s own personal opinions.

“The committee will surely recognise the importance of devolved responsibility, sitting as it does in the Scottish Parliament, and therefore understand better than most that the Scottish Youth FA has jurisdiction over youth football in Scotland.  

“We are fully aware of our own responsibilities as the governing body and reiterate our commitment to reassuring young players and parents that Scottish football is a safe environment in which to play.”