LONDON — The British government says sexual relationships between sports coaches and athletes under the age of 18 in their care will be made illegal.

While the age of consent in Britain is 16, current legislation extends that to 18 for certain roles and settings including schools where there is a clear imbalance in power, and the potential for exploitation is higher. That law will be extended to cover sports.

Sports minister Tracey Crouch told the House of Commons on Thursday she’s “secured ministerial agreement with the Ministry of Justice and Home Office to change laws on positions of trust so it includes sport coaches.”

The announcement comes a year after soccer players started to go public with testimony of being sexually abused by coaches while youngsters.

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