Soccer-Fulham investigating bullying allegations made by former youth player


(Reuters) - Fulham have launched an investigation after former youth player Max Noble claimed he was bullied, abused and threatened during his time at the London club's academy.

Noble said in an interview with the i newspaper he felt depressed and contemplated suicide due to the treatment he received.

Among the incidents were Noble being told he would be dropped if he did not sign with a particular agent and white players being afforded preferential treatment at training.

Noble also said he was forced to take painkillers to practice and that the club refused to pay for his knee surgery before his scholarship deal came to an end.

"I had to pay for my own surgery and rehab. I didn't even receive a phone call from them to see how I was getting on. No psychological help. No aftercare at all," he said.

Fulham said in a statement to British media that they condemned bullying, racism and discrimination of all forms.

"The club will investigate the historic claims and liaise with all relevant parties," Fulham said.

The 31-year-old added that he had been contacted by more than 100 former academy players who had been treated in a similar way after he released a video about his experiences.

"The only thing I want to change is if you take a boy out of school you owe him aftercare," he said. "You can't promise them the world, then ignore them when they're depressed, or they're going through what I had to go through.

"I wouldn't wish that on anyone. The academy system is failing, you can see just by the numbers, it's completely failing."

(Reporting by Arvind Sriram in Bengaluru; Editing by Christian Radnedge)

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