The captain’s role

“It’s not enough to be a great player to be a captain. You have to be a great leader who commands and shows Respect.
Fabio Capello , England manager

As your team’s captain, you have a vital role to play in helping us achieve the number one priority for footballers in The FA’s biggest-ever survey of grassroots football – a referee for every game.

Seven thousand referees are dropping out each season because of the abuse and intimidation they receive. It ruins games and can cause matches to be abandoned. Then we’ve all lost.

Captain taking responsibility

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • To find out more about how referees and captains need to work together as part of Respect.
  • How Captains can help to instil Respect:
  • Ensure you wear a Respect captain’s armband – these will be provided by your league to your club
  • Together with your opposition captain, make yourself known to the referee before the game. He/she will ask if you are clear about your responsibilities
  • Ensure all your 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 your match – and football as a whole
  • Ensure your vice-captain (appoint one if you haven’t got one) is aware of these rules, in case you are unavailable for a game, or have to leave the field
  • Ensure every player in your team has signed the Respect Code of Conduct
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