By 90Min
February 15, 2019

Atletico Madrid have launched an investigation into their academy after former coach Friar Manuel Briñas confessed to sexually abusing a boy at a Catholic boarding school in the 1970s.

Briñas, now 88, is credited with the discovery of the likes of Fernando Torres, who established himself as an Atletico legend. He founded the club's academy and remained in control of the setup for 20 years, and was a hugely popular figure in Madrid.


None of the allegations against Briñas involve his time with Atletico, but the club confirmed on their official website that they will investigate Briñas' tenure at the club in order to establish whether any abuse occurred.

A statement said: "We strongly condemn this type of behaviour and show our firmest repudiation of such serious events.

"We are dismayed because during the years that Manuel Briñas has been linked to our club, there has never been the slightest suspicion about his figure, but quite the opposite, since he has been publicly perceived as someone highly respected inside and outside of Atletico Madrid.


"Atletico Madrid began an internal investigation yesterday through its Compliance department to rule out the existence of any such event during the years that it was linked to our club.

"One of the fundamental values on which our Academy is based is the safeguarding of the rights of children and the protection of children. 

"Although none of the reported facts are related to our club, today, and with the collaboration of our strategic partner 'Save The Children', we have begun a review of existing protocols in the operation of our lower categories in order to perfect them even more to prevent any risk."

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El Pais reported Briñas' claims that the abuse was an isolated incident, but allegations against Briñas have emerged from various parties who suggest that the Spaniard continued to abuse the young children for a period of several years.

As of yet, no players have come forward with allegations of abuse against Briñas, but Atletico remain determined to investigate his actions at the club as they seek to discover the truth about the once-beloved figure.

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