Welcome to Respect.
On average, 7,000 referees quit football every year 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.
No matter what your role in football, you have a part to play in Respect.
My role in Respect
Respect affects the entire game, and needs your help, regardless of how you are involved in football.
Parents and Spectators
Whether you’re in the starting eleven or on the bench, your role as a player is crucial to the success of Respect.
On a match day, you’ll be expected to work with your coaches and your captain to allow the referee to manage the game without being subjected to abuse. With the game losing thousands of referees from the game every year, it’s hugely important, because without the referees, the game isn’t the same.
If the league you play in adopts the Respect programme, you will be asked to read, agree to, and sign, a Code of Conduct at your club. This will be your ‘promise’ to abide by a set of rules governing your behaviour as a player. Working together with your coach, your captain, and each referee that takes charge of your games during the season, you can play a major role in improving the game for everyone, through Respect.
Coaches have a hugely important role to play in Respect, as they are not only responsible for their own behaviour, but they can also influence that of their players and spectators, too.
On a match day, you’ll be expected to work with your players, parents and other spectators to allow the referee to manage the game without being subjected to abuse.
The Respect programme aims to allow Referees to officiate matches without being subjected to abuse by players, coaches or spectators – and the referees themselves have a key part to play in the process.
Working in partnership with the clubs they officiate, referees can provide post-match feedback regarding the behaviour of players, parents, coaches and other spectators, to help the clubs enforce their Codes of Conduct.
Parents and Spectators
Parents have a big responsibility as part of the Respect programme.
Respect is working to eradicate touchline abuse in football, and parents can play their part by agreeing to, and signing, their club’s Code of Conduct and abiding by them throughout the season.
Parents also have a responsibility for their children’s behaviour. The players will also be asked to sign a Code of Conduct, and parents can encourage their children to adhere to the players’ code.
The Respect programme relies on clubs to take active steps to ensure high standards of conduct throughout their club or league.
Code of Conduct
When playing football, I will:
Always do my best, even if we’re losing or the other team is stronger
Play fairly – I won’t cheat, complain or waste time
Never be rude to my team-mates, the other team, the referee, spectators or my coach/team manager
Do what the referee tells me
Shake hands with the other team and referee at the end of the game
Listen to my coach/team manager and respect what he/she says
Talk to someone I trust, for example my parents or the club welfare officer if I’m unhappy about anything at my club.
I understand that if I do not follow the code, action may be taken.
Spectators and parents
Remain outside the field of play and behind the Designated Spectator Area (where provided)
Never engage in, or tolerate, offensive, insulting or abusive language or behaviour
Always respect the match officials’ decisions
Applaud effort and good play as well as success
In addition, when attending youth games I will:
Remember that children play for FUN
Let the coaches do their job and not confuse the players by telling them what to do
Encourage the players to respect the opposition and match officials
Never criticise a player for making a mistake – mistakes are part of learning
I understand that breaches of the code may result in action being taken by the League, County FA and / or The FA.