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Former Sunderland winger Johnson has made grave errors says PFA

The Professional Footballers' Association (PFA) has spoken out about Adam Johnson's conviction.

The former Sunderland winger, 28, is facing a prison sentence after being found guilty of on one count of sexual activity with a child in the Bradford Crown Court.

Johnson was immediately sacked by Sunderland at the beginning of the trial and is now looking at a significant jail spell which has prompted the PFA to release a statement saying there is plenty to be learnt throughout the player's ranks to avoid something of a similar nature in the future.

"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," read the statement.

"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.

"Personal integrity relates both to the way an individual treats him or herself as much as it relates to how he or she treats other people, with mutual respect and consideration being key to this.

"The PFA works with The Football Association, the Premier League and the Football League to develop a framework of rules for the game and these clearly define integrity issues relating to, for instance, betting and doping and to complement this, the PFA has worked with these stakeholders for some time to provide training courses on lifestyle guidance to all young players.

"This covers appropriate standards of behaviour encompassing the law of the land and includes a range of areas including addiction issues and sexual conduct.

"As a natural extension of this, the PFA has developed over a period of time 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 that this is a vital area for our focus and that there is still much work to do."

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Andrew Slevison
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