Six survivors of alleged sexual abuse in Scottish football are to take legal action against the Scottish Football Association (SFA).

Last week, an independent report commissioned by the SFA outlined the governing body's failings called for an urgent and comprehensive safeguarding strategy across Scottish football.

Newly-appointed SFA chief executive Ian Maxwell issued an apology to victims following the publication of last week's report.

Six people have now instructed Thompsons Solicitors to take legal action against the SFA although when contacted by Sky Sports News on Monday morning the SFA said they were unable to comment as papers have not been served on them.

Thompsons are one of Scotland's leading law firms representing survivors of sexual abuse, and are also the official law firm for The Scottish Professional Footballers Association.

Thompsons partner, Patrick McGuire, said: "As the body in charge of Scottish football at all levels the SFA is responsible for the welfare of children taking part in our game.

"They are trusted by parents to make sure that coaches and officials at club and association level are fit and proper people to care for their children. It is to the SFA's complete and utter shame that due to their incompetence and at times wilful disregard criminals of the worst kind preyed on youngsters who only wanted to play football.

"The legal action for compensation that my firm is undertaking on behalf of our clients is part of the process of seeking justice and it's one that I expect the SFA to take very seriously and settle promptly."

Peter Haynes claims to have been abused by SFA official and coach Hugh Stevenson, who died in 2004.

He said: "SFA chief executive Ian Maxwell has told the country he believes his organisation's child protection policies are a success. I have asked him to clarify his statement. He has not as yet agreed to this.

"The hurt his statement caused to myself, my family and other survivors is beyond measure. It is in total contradiction to that of his predecessor, Stewart Regan. Mr Maxwell's words echoed the same lack of understanding as Jim Farry in 1994 when I first informed the SFA about Hugh Stevenson.

"How on earth can they say they haven't failed children in the past? What part of the handling of my involvement can be deemed a success? Mr Maxwell says the SFA wants a world-class child safety policy. That should begin with taking care of those it has already failed miserably."

John Cleland says he was abused by former Rangers and Hibernian coach Gordon Neely, who passed away in 2014.

He added: "The SFA is responsible for making sure that those coaching our children are people we can trust yet they completely failed me and my family. I now wait to see if their words admitting their failings are backed up by action. I sincerely hope that other survivors abused in Scottish football now feel able to come forward to have their voices heard."

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