The Football Association has condemned former Sunderland winger Adam Johnson after he was guilty on one count of sexual activity with a 15-year-old girl on Wednesday.
Former England international Johnson was cleared of another charge but had already admitted to one count of sexual activity with a child and grooming.
The 28-year-old was told by the judge at Bradford Crown Court he can expect a “substantial prison sentence” when an outcome is delivered in the next few weeks.
While Sunderland have said they were shocked by Johnson changing his plea to guilty on the two lesser charges, questions remain as to what the Premier League club knew following his first police interview in May 2015.
Johnson continued to play for the club up until he pleaded guilty in court and was subsequently sacked.
The FA discussed the matter with the club in April last year – around a month after he was initially arrested by Durham Police.
“Adam Johnson’s conduct in this case is to be condemned,” read the FA’s statement. “Our thoughts are with the victim and her family as they look to rebuild their lives after this traumatic ordeal.
“The FA’s safeguarding team spoke with the club in April 2015. Sunderland confirmed Adam Johnson did not have any roles with the club involving a position of trust with children and was not involved in their community schemes.
“The FA now awaits the sentencing hearing and the final decision of the court in this matter. No further comment will be made on the case pending this hearing and decision.”
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