FA Respect Campaign

Respect is The FA’s programme to address unacceptable behaviour in football – on and off the pitch.

On average, 7,000 referees quit football every year at because of the abuse they receive from players and from the sidelines. Lots of children also pack it in because of the attitude and actions of over-enthusiastic and pushy parents.

In response, The FA’s Respect programme provides a series of tools for leagues, clubs, coaches, Referees, players and parents from grassroots to elite football to ensure a safe, positive environment in which to enjoy the game.

These tools include agreed codes of conduct, in-service training for Referees, Respect club packs, spectator sideline barriers funded by the Football Foundation and ensuring captains work with referees to manage player behaviour.

What is Respect?
Respect is the collective responsibility of everyone involved in football, at all levels, 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 does the FA want to achieve with Respect?

  1. There will be a base of registered referees in England sufficient for the demands of the game at every level.
  2. There will be zero tolerance for assaults on referees.
  3. 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.
  4. There will be a ‘step change‘ in youth football on what is acceptable and unacceptable behaviour from parents and spectators.
  5. They will work with coaches to create an enjoyable learning environment for children’s football.

Respect Code of Conduct for adult players

We all have a responsibility to promote high standards of behaviour in the game.

Players tell us they want a referee for every match, yet thousands of match officials drop out each season because of the abuse and intimidation they receive on and off the pitch.

Respect your referee today and you may just get one for every match this season.

Play your part and observe The FA’s Respect Code of Conduct for players
at all times.

On and off the field, I will:

  • Adhere to the Laws of The Game
  • Display and promote high standards of behaviour
  • Promote Fair Play
  • Always respect the match officials’ decisions
  • Never engage in public criticism of the match officials
  • Never engage in offensive, insulting or abusive language or behaviour
  • Never engage in bullying, intimidation or harassment
  • Speak to my team-mates, the opposition and my coach/manager with respect
  • Remember we all make mistakes
  • Win or lose with dignity. Shake hands with the opposing team and the referee at the end of every game.

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 team-mates, the other team, referee or team manager
  • Receive a warning from the coach
  • Receive a written warning from the club committee
  • Be required to attend an FA education course
  • Be dropped or substituted
  • Be suspended from training
  • Not be selected for the team
  • Be required to serve a suspension
  • Be fined
  • Be required to leave the club.

In addition:

  • The FA/County FA could impose a fine and/or suspension on the club.

Respect Code of Conduct for Spectators and parents/carers

Play your part and observe The FA’s Respect Code of Conduct for players 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.

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
  • Be required to meet with the club, league or CFA Welfare Officer
  • Be required to meet with the club committee
  • Be obliged to undertake an FA education course
  • Be obliged to leave the match venue by the club
  • Be requested by the club not to attend future games
  • Be suspended or have my club membership removed
  • Be 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.
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