Youth football clubs
Your guide to The FA’s Respect programme
Respect and youth football clubs 1
Why football needs Respect
The FA is responding to concern from across
the game to tackle unacceptable behaviour in
football. The FA is taking action in a variety of
ways, and one of the main actions is the Respect
programme. It is not a short-lived campaign but
on ongoing commitment to improve behaviour
in football. It won’t be solved in the short term as
we all have a lot of work to do over the
seasons ahead.
One of the main aims of Respect is to help recruit
and retain enough Referees for the requirements
of our game at all levels. We all know that a
game without a trained and impartial referee
cannot be played properly. In 2008 the number
of registered Referees had fallen to an all time
low with many referees dropping out, mainly
due to the abuse they receive on the pitch and
from the sidelines. Respect aims to improve the
environment of the game and so improve the
experience of everyone involved –
particularly Referees.
Respect needs your club and its players to play
its part. Together, we can make a huge difference.
2 Respect and youth football clubs
Respect and youth football clubs 3
What is Respect?
How do we achieve Respect?
4 Respect and youth football clubs
Step 1: Codes of Conduct
Step 2: Managing the match day environment
Step 3: The captain takes responsibility
Step 4: The referee manages the game
The first two seasons of Respect
How to introduce Respect at your club
Welfare Officers and the Respect programme
Respect Good Practtice 25
Respect Code of Conduct
Respect and youth football clubs 5
What is Respect?
Respect is the collective responsibility of
everyone in football to create a fair, safe and
enjoyable environment in which the game can
take place.
It is the behavioural code for football.
Respect is a continuous FA programme,
not a one-off initiative.
What do we want to achieve with Respect?
1.There will be a ‘step change‘ in youth
football on what is acceptable and
unacceptable behaviour from parents,
spectators and coaches.
2.We will work with coaches to create an
enjoyable learning environment for
children’s football
3.There will be a base of registered referees
in England sufficient for the demands of the
game at every level.
4.There will be zero tolerance for assaults
on referees.
5.There will be an improvement in on-field
player discipline, particularly in the area of
dissent to referees and in competitions that
have an established record of poor discipline.
The most important message of the Respect
programme is that real and lasting change will
come about not through the intervention of the
Football Authorities but from everyone in football
taking collective responsibility to promote what
is good in the game and deal with that which
diminishes it.
6 Respect and youth football clubs
Respect and youth football clubs 7
How do we achieve Respect?
The Respect programme includes four practical
steps to improve behaviour:
Step 1: Codes of Conduct
Step 2: Manage the match day environment
Step 3: The captain takes responsibility
Step 4: The referee manages the game
Step 1:
Codes of Conduct
Codes of Conduct aren’t new and are already
in use by some clubs (for example, they are
mandatory for Charter Standard Clubs). Some
Codes are successful; some are forgotten and
simply not acted upon.
Respect brings them to life by supporting
and strengthening the Codes of Conduct with
possible consequences. There is little point in
having a set of rules if no action is taken if and
when they’re broken.
8 Respect and youth football clubs
There are Respect Codes of Conduct for:
Club Codes of Conduct:
Clubs which already have Codes of Conduct:
Each Respect Code of Conduct explains that
action can and will be taken if the Code is broken.
If you are an FA Charter Standard Club, and/
or you already have your own club Codes of
Conduct, it is advised that you adopt the new
Respect Codes or revise your existing codes to
include any elements you may have missed. Young Players
Adult Players
Spectators and Parents/Carers
Coaches, Team Managers and Club Officials
Match Officials
Each Code explains that actions can be taken
if the Code is broken. Although the County
FA or The FA will deal with cases of reported
misconduct, clubs and leagues also have a role
to play in dealing with poor behaviour from
players, officials or spectators. This can range
from education, mentoring, official warnings,
suspension or even exclusion from the
All the Respect Codes of Conduct can be
downloaded from
Respect works on placing responsibility on
individuals for their actions: break your Code, and
bear the consequences.
Your club has three main responsibilities around
the Codes:
1.To ensure everyone within the club (club
members), whatever their role, has read,
agreed and signed up to their relevant Code
– and understands the actions which could
be taken if Codes are broken. The inclusion
of Codes into the registration process of club
members ensures that all playing members
can be made aware of their responsibilities at
the point of joining the club.
2.To collect and retain the Codes so that they
can be referred back to if an individual’s
behaviour becomes unacceptable
3.To deal fairly and consistently with anyone
who breaks ‘their’ Code.
If your club hasn’t used Codes of Conduct
before – or has Codes without consequences
– this needs discussion, so your members
understand how the Codes work and what their
responsibilities are.
Respect and youth football clubs 9
10 Respect and youth football clubs
Respect and youth football clubs 11
Taking Sanctions
The Codes identify a range of sanctions which
can be applied in the event of misconduct or
poor behaviour.
Whilst your County FA or The FA will deal with
reported misconduct, clubs also have a role to
play in educating its membership as to what
is – and what isn’t – acceptable behaviour and
taking action when the Codes are broken.
Potential measures that a club can take against
its members include;
•Being required to apologise to team-mates,
the other team, referee or team manager
•Receive a warning from the coach
•Receive a written warning from the club
•Be required to attend a FA education course
•Be dropped or substituted
•Be suspended from training
•Not be selected for the team
•Be required to serve a suspension
•Be required to leave the club
It’s important for Clubs to be clear about what it
expects from its members and to educate people
when guidance is required. Should this guidance
be disregarded then the management of a Club
has the right to implement sanctions against
offenders. Such action must:
•Be fair and consistent – treating people in
the same way regardless of their position in
the club
•Follow a process which allows people to know
when they have broken a Code of Conduct
and provides them with the opportunity to
amend their behaviour and conduct
• Be proportionate to the offence
•Be progressively more serious for
repeat offenders
Step 2:
Managing the match day environment
Sometimes the behaviour of spectators and
team officials can have a negative impact on the
game itself. Respect aims to create a playing
environment which is fair, safe and enjoyable.
This can be achieved by;
•Clearly identifying to players, spectators
and team officials the behaviour that is
appropriate. This is why the codes of conduct
are important
•If you are the home club there is a value in
displaying the club’s code of conduct - visible
to both home and visiting participants. This
could be in the changing room, pavilion or
even on a laminated card that can be passed
down a line of spectators
•Signage – if the facility allows the display of a
Respect banner or sign this can establish to
all participants a club’s commitment to the
Respect programme.
•The creation of designated areas for
spectators is a key element of Respect and
is a measure largely aimed at youth football
where large numbers of spectators can be
attracted, some of whom may behave poorly.
Designated Spectators’ Areas can be marked by
an additional line, the use of cones, a roped-off
area or use of a temporary spectators’ barrier.
The areas literally draw the line which spectators
should not cross. Research has shown it to have a
beneficial impact on the behaviour of spectators
and their impact on players and match officials.
The ideal arrangement is to mark out a
Designated Spectators’ Area on the opposite
side of the pitch to club officials (manager/
coaches etc) for spectators to stand behind.
This allows the manager/coaches of both teams
to stand on the other side of the pitch, meaning
players can better distinguish the advice from
their team officials.
The Designated Spectators’ Area should start
two metres from the touchline on both sides of
the pitch. Each area should run the full length
of the pitch. This means no-one should be
watching from behind the goals. It is recognised
however that the alignment of some public
pitches does not allow for this set up in which
case other appropriate arrangements should
be made.
You may prefer an alternative form of marking
a Designated Spectators’ Area, but you must
ensure this is safe for both the spectators and
the players. The FA strongly recommends you
obtain formal agreement from the facility/pitch
provider about which method of marking is most
suitable for the pitch, before beginning any work
or buying any new equipment.
The safety of the players, officials and spectators
is paramount.
To help implement the Designated Spectators’
Area, The FA has endorsed a Respect Barrier Kit
which is available from
12 Respect and youth football clubs
Respect and youth football clubs 13
Dealing with difficult spectators
The Role of a Touchline Manager
Clubs should consider the use of a touchline
manager - someone known to club members
designated to help maintain a supportive playing
environment. A touchline manager could be
someone in the club with relevant experience
(e.g. the club welfare officer or a police officer
or teacher). Ideally the individual should have
authority and presence, and the ability to
remain calm. The role of the touchline manager
is to attempt to nip any behavioural issues in
the bud, to be a point of contact during the
game for the referee and to remind spectators
of their responsibility. It’s important that they
act quickly and discreetly. Some clubs have
equipped touchline managers with a Respect bib
which has increased their visibility and assisted
them when required to intervene. The touchline
manager is to assist the smooth running and
enjoyment of the game for everyone – not just
the home team. They are there to deal with
small scale incidents and to reduce and diffuse
problems. It is not the role of the touchline
manager to replace the referee or the normal
league sanctions. They should never place
themselves or others in danger.
•Be aware - Enjoy the game but monitor
the touchline
•Move towards an incident or
potential incident
•Observe and analyse – Is this a significant
incident likely to escalate or will a quiet
reminder sort it out.
•Isolate -ask the person to move away for a
chat, remind them that the children are there
to have fun.
•Emphasise that the club is committed to
creating a environment where people are
treated with Respect and dignity.
•Let them know that children may be
influenced by their behaviour.
•Acknowledge that they may be frustrated by
the decisions a coach or referee has made
but explain that the person is doing their best
(everyone makes mistakes) and that the
referee may see things differently from their
field of play.
•Explain that abuse directed at players or team
officials on either team is unacceptable.
•Refer to the club’s Code of Conduct – the
spectator may not realise that they have
behaved inappropriately.
•Be calm and firm. Be conscious that both the
tone of your voice and your body language is
assertive but not aggressive
14 Respect and youth football clubs
•Explain the Respect Code, explain that
this behaviour cannot be tolerated, that
continued abuse will lead to problems for the
club and the players and that the incident will
be fully reported to the league and County
Football Association.
And if this doesn’t work……..
•Bring the incident to the attention of
the referee
•If the Referee deems it necessary the game
will be abandoned and the club will face a
full report.
•Remember: if you have done all that you can
the League should take this into account
Step 3:
The captain takes responsibility
Often problems start at matches when individual
players are abusive towards the referee, which
escalates into several players confronting the
referee at the same time – then it’s anarchy.
Respect aims to stop this cycle before it starts.
The first two seasons of Respect have shown
one of the most effective measures is for the
Referee to work with team captains to manage
the behaviour of his/her team mates. Only the
captain can challenge decisions made by the
referee and the captain needs to manage his/
her team to ensure that this is always observed.
However, this does not mean the referee will only
speak to the captain. Referees remain free to talk
to any player if this means they can manage the
game better.
The advice to captains is;
To promote Respect the referee will work with
you, as the team captain, to manage the players
and the game effectively.
Even if you are some way away from an incident
when the referee feels he/she needs you
involved in a discussion with a player, the referee
will call you over. This will ensure that, as the
team captain, you remain the point of contact for
the referee.
As a captain, you have no special status or
privileges under the Laws of the Game, but
you do have a degree of responsibility for the
behaviour of your team.
Respect and youth football clubs 15
In some cases a referee will proceed directly to
a caution if he deems an offence to be serious
enough, and is not obliged to call a captain
forward for every incident – only those that will
assist him/her in the management of the game.
The type of behaviour which often gives rise to
problems in matches, and where captains and
referees need to work together, can be described
as ‘harassment and challenging behaviour
towards the referee’.
Referees will also make use of captains to deal
with persistent offending from a team-mate
where there is a real possibility of further
offending resulting in a caution or a dismissal.
Captains will also be called forward where
additional support is required to calm a player
down who is likely to immediately re-offend.
Here are some examples of each of these types
of behaviour
•Running towards the referee in an
aggressive manner.
•Players surrounding the referee to protest
a decision.
•Repeatedly asking questions about decisions
in an attempt to influence the referee or
undermine his/her responsibilities.
16 Respect and youth football clubs
•Passing comment to other players about
a referee’s decision-making.
•Repeatedly moaning at the referee
about decisions.
•Gestures that obviously are made in a
derogatory manner, such as a shaking of the
head or waving of the hand.
Captains have been asked to:
•Ensure they wear a captain’s armband.
•Ensure all players understand what they can/
cannot do in relation to the referee and what
is meant by ‘unwanted behaviour’. No-one’s
trying to curb enthusiasm – just instil more
discipline. This can only benefit the specific
match and football as a whole.
•Ensure vice-captains (who should be
appointed one if there isn’t one) is aware of
these rules, in case captains are unavailable
for a game, or have to leave the field.
•Ensure every player in the team has signed
the Respect Code of Conduct.
Captains in children’s football
•In some case a youth team may not have an
individual that is mature enough to take on
this enhanced captaincy role. In such cases
a common sense approach should be taken
which may involve the Referee working with a
team manager rather than an on field captain.
Step 4:
The referee manages the game
Although much of youth football is refereed by
club officials or young referees, these officials can
and should operate in the same way as any other
qualified referee.
The instructions given to referees in relation to
Respect are that: ‘you are expected to work with
the team captains to manage the players and the
game effectively. You must control the game by
applying the Laws of the Game and deal firmly
with any open show of dissent by players’. (e.g.
not move away from the incident, but stay and
deal with it).
While recognising that players may on occasions
make an appeal for a decision (e.g. a throwin, corner or goal-kick), it is important you
distinguish these from an act of dissent which
should be punished with a caution.
The stepped approach does not contradict the
fact that as the referee, you have the authority
within the Laws of the Game to issue disciplinary
sanctions without consulting the captain(s),
including issuing a yellow or red card where the
Laws require it.
If the captain is some distance from an incident,
but you feel you need him/her involved in a
discussion with a player, you should call the
captain over. This will ensure the captain remains
your point of contact during the game.
These guidelines are an additional preventative/
supportive tool for referees to manage games
effectively. The key is for referees to use captains
in a more visible way.
You should use a stepped approach, where
appropriate, to managing players:
1.Quiet word.
2.Free-kick with quiet word.
3.Free-kick with public admonishment (this is
the time referees should consider using the
captain to emphasise the message).
4.Yellow card.
5.Red card
Respect and youth football clubs 17
The first two seasons of Respect
Throughout the first two seasons of Respect its
impact was monitored. The following are the
headline findings:
•Prior to the launch of the Respect programme
in 2008 the number of affiliated referees
had fallen to all time low. In 2010 there were
26,692 registered referees, an increase of
7.4% increase compared to 24,852 for the
same period in 2009.
•The number of trainee referees at level 9 is
5598 compared to 4111 in 2009 - an increase
of 36.2%.
•The Respect programme has made a
contribution to creating an environment
where referees, feel better supported and
are more likely to continue their involvement.
In a survey of 3,500 referees in November
2009, 35 % of respondents reported that they
were more likely to remain a referee and 39
% reported that they received less abusive
behaviour from players as a result of
Respect programme.
•When the Respect programme was launched
referees were encouraged to submit ‘Respect’
marks after a fixture. In 2009/10 nearly 10,000
reports were entered. Encouragingly the
average Respect marks (out of a possible 5)
ranged from 4.1 to 4.7
18 Respect and youth football clubs
•In 2008/09 The FA received reports of 534
referees having been assaulted (ranging
from a referee having a card knocked out of
their hand to serious assault). In 2009/10 the
figures for assaults on a match officials (all
categories) show a 13 % decrease from last
season (a reduction to 466 cases from 534
cases in 08/09)
•One of the major themes of the Respect
programme has been its attempt to deal
with overtly aggressive coaches and pushy
parents in youth football. The Respect
programme has increased awareness of
the problem.
•Over 500 youth leagues have committed
themselves to the programme. Despite this
work a significant problem still exists with
the key finding of the 2010 CFA Online Grass
Roots Survey of 12,000 respondents, across
all regions and all roles in football identified as:
‘the abuse of young players by spectators’.
youth teams
clubs 19
•In the professional game player behaviour
has improved. Overall in the Premier League,
Football League, Football Conference,
Isthmian, Northern and Southern Leagues
there was a 6 % decline in dissent cautions.
Dissent cautions in 10 out of 16 of the senior
leagues were down compared to
2008/09 levels.
•There was a 23% reduction in dissent cautions
in the Premier League (76 compared to 99).
•Dissent cautions were down by 31% in the
Championship (99 compared to 144).
•Dissent cautions were down in the Football
League as a whole by 12 % (373 compared
to 425).
•There were only two charges of harassment
of match official in the PL, FL and Football
Conference but mass confrontation charges
rose from 4 to 43 charges this season.
•In the amateur game dissent cautions
have reduced by 3%, misconduct 3% and
dismissals by 2%
•Disappointingly the number of matches
abandoned due to misconduct in 2009/10
was 947 an increase of 7 % on the
2008/09 figure
20 Respect and youth football clubs
•An online Respect module has now become a
pre-course requirement for those undertaking
the FA Level 1 coaching qualification. Since
its introduction in May 2009, nearly 17,000
Coaches have undertaken this module.
•752 Leagues have signed up for Respect (out
of 1200) although implementation of the
Respect measures is at different stages across
those leagues.
•40 % of the 12,000 respondents of the
CFA’s Grassroots Survey claim that their
experience of football has improved with
‘Respect’ and that they experienced 66 % less
discrimination or touchline abuse.
•Based on the CFA Grassroots survey The
Respect measures considered to have the
most practical value are Referees being
encouraged to deal with dissent , use of
Codes of Conduct, use of captains to assist on
field management and the use of designated
spectator areas.
The Respect programme is an ongoing
commitment by the football authorities to tackle
poor behaviour. There is still much work to be
done but we will seek to improve this position
season on season.
Respect and youth football clubs 21
How to introduce Respect at your club
Fundamentally, we need you to accept and
understand the four steps to Respect outlined
on the previous pages – and then impart them to
everyone at your club.
To get everyone on board, we suggest the
following actions.
Attend a league information session
If your league decides to sign-up to Respect,
your league officials will hold an information
session on the programme and the role your club
will be expected to play. It’s important your club
is absolutely clear about what your involvement
entails. Your league will hand out Respect
resources at this session.
Organise a club Respect session
and inform your members
We would recommend you organise an
information session for your club members,
along the lines of the one you will be asked to
attend by your league.
Members include:
•Club officials, Coaches, Team Managers
and welfare officers
•All players
However it’s organised, you need to ensure that
all the members of your club read, understand
and sign the relevant Codes of Conduct. A
Respect DVD is also available from the County
FA which will assist in explaining the relevance of
Respect to parents and team officials.
22 Respect and youth football clubs
Communicating the Respect message
to young players
For under-16 players at your club there is a Code
of Conduct for Young Players. This differs from
the Adult Players’ Code of Conduct in language
and tone to ensure it is easy to understand.
If you really want young people to engage
fully with the Respect programme, here is
a suggested way to embed it in their minds.
Perhaps you should repeat it before every
training session and/or match, and in time, get
them to say it together before they go out?
Referee is in charge
Encourage team-mates
Shout, but don’t criticise
Play fairly
Enjoy the game
Captain only speaks to the referee
Try whatever the score
Other ways of encouraging good behaviour and
Respect in young players could include:
•Respect posters in the changing rooms and
clubhouse - why not get the team to design
their own?
•Discuss the Respect Comic Strips available to
download from
•Introduce an award for the ‘Respect Player of
the Season’ at each age group – ie a fair play
award. You could even have a Respect Player
of the Match each week.
•Introduce an award for the ‘Respect Team of
the Season’ within the club at the end of the
season, ie the team with the best
disciplinary record.
Help them understand it’s about making
everyone responsible for their individual actions
and ensuring they not only Respect others, but
Respect the game of football itself.
Communicate with your spectators
This may not apply at your club, but if your
matches attract spectators, they have a key
influence on standards of behaviour: their own
and others.
So, depending on the size of your club, you
may want to include spectators in your club
information session(s) or run a specific session
for them.
Ensure your club officials
understand Respect
Players and spectators will often take their lead
from the management of a team. If a manager or
coach is bawling at match officials it is likely that
players will do so too. Managers and coaches
have a responsibility to behave themselves in a
way which reflects the Respect Codes of Conduct
Take action to make the Respect Codes
of Conduct meaningful
Get all club participants – whatever their role
– to sign up to a Code of Conduct and then
the management of the club should ensure
that they are obeyed. In some cases this may
mean that additional education or advice is
required. For more serious cases a warning may
be administered or a temporary withdrawal of
club privileges. For serious or persistent cases
the club committee may need to consider
suspending or even withdrawing an individual’s
club membership
It is accepted that spectators are not under a
club’s direct control, but you and your players
have a responsibility to lead by example and
set the standards of behaviour you expect from
spectators – and then maintain these standards.
Respect and youth football clubs 23
Welfare Officers and
the Respect programme
Safeguarding children is an integral aspect of the
Respect programme. It’s about raising awareness
that bullying, verbal, emotional and physical
abuse will not be tolerated in football.
League and Club Welfare Officers play a key
role in this safeguarding work. From season
2010/2011 The Football Association requires all
leagues and clubs with youth teams to have a
named Welfare Officer with an ‘accepted’ CRB
via The FA CRB Unit and have attended The FA
Safeguarding Children and Welfare
Officer workshops.
League and Club Welfare Officers should contact
their County Welfare Officer to find out about
opportunities for Welfare Officer training
and meetings.
Respect is all about creating a fun and safe
environment, there are specific ways in which
League and Club Welfare Officers can assist the
programme’s implementation.
Respect Good Practice
The League Welfare Officer should:
•Promote the Respect programme as part of
measures to safeguard children in the league.
•Attend the Respect club information session
run by the league.
•Ensure Club Welfare Officers are familiar with
the Respect programme.
•Monitor behaviour in the league and
feedback to The County FA.
•Ensure the Respect Codes of Conduct are
distributed and used.
•Encourage Club Welfare Officers to undertake
the online FA Respect Parents’ Guide.
The Club Welfare Officer should:
•Promote the Respect programme as part
of the measures to create positive football
experiences within the club.
•Attend the Respect information session held
by the league and any such sessions held by
the club.
•Help people to understand the Codes of
Conduct and to keep within the Respect
Designated Spectators’ Area.
•Talk to the League and/or the County FA
Welfare Officer if any incidents of bullying,
harassment, discrimination or abuse arise in
the club.
•Encourage team officials and spectators
to undertake the online FA Respect
Parents’ Guide.
There is a growing body of good practice from
leagues, clubs and individuals that have led the
way in tackling poor behaviour and promoting
Respect in the game. In May 2010 at the FA
Cup Final Prince William presented the first ever
Respect and Fair Play awards to those that are
making a difference. The winners were;
Name of Organisation / Individual
Doncaster Rovers
Swindon Town
Northern Premier League
The Hellenic Football League
Garforth Town Football Club
East Riding County Women’s League
Sheppey Sunday league
East Berkshire Youth Football League
North Wilts Youth & Minor League
Leamington Hibernian Football Club
Malcolm Lee ( Don’t X the Line)
Barclays Premier League Fair Play Award
FL Fair Play Award Championship
FL Fair Play Award League 1
FL Fair Play Award League 2
National League System League Steps 1 to 4
National League System League Steps 5 to 7
National League System Club Steps 1 to 4
Women’s Pyramid League
Grassroots Adult League
Grassroots Youth League or Organisation
Grassroots Youth League or Organisation
Grassroots Club
Bobby Moore Award
For further information on the role of Welfare
Officers please go to
24 Respect and youth football clubs
Respect and youth football clubs 25
Respect Code of Conduct
26 Respect and youth football clubs
Respect and youth football clubs 27
Respect Code
Code of
Respect Code of Conduct
Young Players
Spectators and parents/carers
The work of the award winners can be viewed at
We all have a responsibility to promote high
standards of behaviour in the game.
The Respect Awards will be staged once again
in 2011 with application forms available from
January 2011 from the FA and County
Football Associations.
As a player, you have a big part to play. That’s
why The FA is asking every player to follow a
Respect Code of Conduct.
When playing football, I will:
•Always play to the best of my ability
•Play fairly – I won’t cheat, complain or
waste time
•Respect my team-mates, the other team, the
referee or my coach/manager
•Play by the rules, as directed by the referee
•Shake hands with the other team and referee
at the end of the game
•Listen and respond to what my coach/team
manager tells me
•Talk to someone I trust or the club welfare
officer if I’m unhappy about anything at
my club
I understand that if I do not follow the Code, any/
all of the following actions may be taken by my
club, County FA or The FA:
I may:
•Be required to apologise to my team-mates,
the other team, referee or team manager
•Receive a formal warning from the coach or
the club committee
• Be dropped or substituted
• Be suspended from training
• Be required to leave the club
In addition:
•My club, County FA or The FA may make my
parent or carer aware of any infringements of
the Code of Conduct
•The FA/County FA could impose a fine and
suspension against my club
We all have a responsibility to promote high
standards of behaviour in the game
This club is supporting The FA’s Respect
programme to ensure football can be enjoyed in
a safe, positive environment.
Remember children’s football is a time for them
to develop their technical, physical, tactical and
social skills. Winning isn’t everything.
Play your part and observe The FA’s Respect
Code of Conduct for spectators and parents/
carers at all times
I will:
•Remember that children play for FUN.
•Applaud effort and good play as well
as success
•Always Respect the match officials’ decisions
•Remain outside the field of play and within
the Designated Spectators’ Area
(where provided)
•Let the coach do their job and not confuse
the players by telling them what to do
•Encourage the players to Respect the
opposition, referee and match officials
•Avoid criticising a player for making a mistake
– mistakes are part of learning
•Never engage in, or tolerate, offensive,
insulting, or abusive language or behaviour
Respect Code of Conduct
Respect Code of Conduct
Coaches, Team Managers
and Club Officials
I understand that if I do not follow the Code, any/
all of the following actions may be taken by my
club, County FA or The FA:
I may be:
•Issued with a verbal warning from a club or
league official
•Required to meet with the club, league or CFA
Welfare Officer
•Required to meet with the club committee
•Obliged to undertake an FA education course
•Obliged to leave the match venue by the club
•Requested by the club not to attend
future games
•Suspended or have my club
membership removed
•Required to leave the club along with
any dependents
In addition:
•The FA/County FA could impose a fine and/or
suspension on the club
We all have a responsibility to promote high
standards of behaviour in the game.
The behaviour of the match officials has an
impact, directly and indirectly, on the conduct
of everyone involved in the game – both on the
pitch and on the sidelines.
Play your part and observe The FA’s Respect
Code of Conduct for match officials at all time.
I will:
•Be honest and completely impartial at
all times
•Apply the Laws of the Game and competition
rules fairly and consistently
•Manage the game in a positive, calm and
confident manner
•Deal with all instances of violence, aggression,
unsporting behaviour, foul play and
other misconduct
•Never tolerate offensive, insulting or abusive
language or behaviour from players
and officials
•Support my match official colleagues at
all times
•Set a positive personal example by promoting
good behaviour and showing Respect to
everyone involved in the game
•Communicate with the players and
encourage fair play
•Respond in a clear, calm and confident
manner to any appropriate request for
clarification by the team captains
•Prepare physically and mentally for
every match
•Complete and submit, accurate and concise
reports within the time limit required for
games in which I officiate.
I understand that if I do not follow the Code, any/
all of the following actions may be taken by my
County FA or The FA:
I may be:
•Required to meet with The FA/County FA
Refereeing Official
•Required to meet with The FA/County FA
Refereeing Committee
We all have a responsibility to promote high
standards of behaviour in the game.
In the FA’s survey of 37,000 grassroots
participants, behaviour was the biggest concern
in the game. This included the abuse of match
officials and the unacceptable behaviour of over
competitive parents, spectators and coaches on
the sideline.
Play your part and observe the Football
Association’s Respect Code of Conduct in
everything you do.
On and off the field, I will:
•Show Respect to others involved in the game
including match officials, opposition players,
coaches, managers, officials and spectators
• Adhere to the laws and spirit of the game
•Promote Fair Play and high standards
of behaviour
• Always Respect the match official’s decision
•Never enter the field of play without the
referee’s permission
•Never engage in public criticism of the
match officials
•Never engage in, or tolerate, offensive,
insulting or abusive language or behaviour
When working with players, I will:
•Place the well-being, safety and enjoyment
of each player above everything,
including winning
•Explain exactly what I expect of players and
what they can expect from me
Respect and youth football clubs 33
34 Respect and youth football clubs
Respect and youth football clubs 35
The Football Association
Wembley Stadium,
London HA9 0WS
Postal Address:
The Football Association
Wembley Stadium,
PO Box 1966,
London SW1P 9EQ
0844 980 8200
36 Respect and clubs
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