Soccer rape allegations cause major Net headache

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Those trying to keep the lid on the naming of eight Premiership footballers allegedly involved in the gang-rape of 17-year-old girl at a London hotel over the weekend are facing a new threat.

There are concerns that football fans attending matches this weekend might chant the names of those concerned, placing broadcasters at risk should their identities get picked-up by microphones.

It's yet another headache for those who've sought to stop the names of those linked with the alleged assault from being named.

In a move to protect themselves from possible prosecution, a number of Internet message boards have been shut this week in order to try and stop allegations from spreading.

However, despite the closure of a number of bulletin boards - including more than 90 club boards run by Rivals.net - the matter is still being discussed online.

And lawyers representing the sportsmen are keeping close tabs on a what's being written.

The Guardian reports that lawyers have already started libel proceedings against one office worker who works for a large company amid allegations that he circulated names of players by email.

A solicitor told the newspaper that Net users could still face legal action even if they sent emails or posted items on message boards. ®

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