Adam Johnson’s conviction: Arsene Wenger comments on pervert in London Colney
- Credit: PA
Adam Johnson’s conviction for sexual activity with a 15 year old girl has prompted Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger to call upon the footballing world to ‘do more’ to educate players against such conduct.
The Gunners’ boss was asked for his views on the disgraced ex-Sunderland forward during today’s (Friday) press conference at the team’s training base in London Colney.
Johnson, 28, is facing jail after being found guilty of sexual activity with a girl aged 15, but he was cleared of a second charge, in which she was alleged to have performed a sex act on him.
Wenger was asked whether he thought football was doing enough to educate its players against such sordid behaviour.
He replied: “Football is doing a lot, but when you are in this kind of position, you always have the feeling you don’t do enough.”
However, Wenger said that it was not down to the sport to bear sole responsibility for players’ actions.
He said: “It is the responsibility of people - once you are an adult, you have to stand up for what you do. It is not always football that is responsible for the [actions] of people.”
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But, he admitted, football could be doing more to prevent such disgraceful conduct.
Wenger agreed that more could be done in the sport, “because [although] this is an endless work, you can always do more on that front.
“But, our society, as well [has] to acknowledge that the individual person is responsible for what he is doing in our society.”
In a statement on Johnson yesterday, the Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA) said it “noted and respected the Crown Court’s decision” on the footballer.
The PFA added: “Players are role models and as such have a responsibility to behave in an appropriate way.
“It is extremely disappointing to see the damage caused by the actions of one of our members. Adam has clearly made very serious mistakes and in due course the court will determine his punishment.
“As the players’ union we are very conscious of the role and responsibility of our members and we work hard to ensure they receive relevant information and important guidance regarding appropriate standards of conduct.”
The organisation said that it had developed a training programme incorporating the theme of personal integrity for all professional players, “ensuring they are fully informed on such issues and includes sexual consent, standards of behaviour and respectful relationships in person and on social media.
“This has been developed with input from groups including Rape Crisis, White Ribbon and Women’s Aid.
“Situations such as this, unfortunately, demonstrate this is a vital area for our focus and there is still much work to do.”