The FA is inviting every league in England to sign up to the principles of the Respect programme and to introduce some practical steps at club level to ensure football is played in a safe, positive environment from this season.
The scheme, which underwent a successful pilot at the end of last season, is free to join and there are resources available to support clubs to introduce Respect.
The Respect programme includes four practical steps to improve behaviour – on the pitch and on the sidelines – in and at matches throughout the country:
Step 1: Respect Codes of Conduct
There is a Code of Conduct for each of the five main types of football participant: Young Players, Adult Players, Spectators and Parents/Carers, Coaches, Team Managers and Club Officials, and Match Officials. Each Code explains actions can be taken if the Code is broken.
Step 2: Designated Spectator Areas
The FA recommends you introduce marked areas along the touchlines, within which spectators must stay. The idea behind this is to encourage parents and spectators to take a step back from the pitch and support the teams in a more responsible manner.
Step 3: Captain taking responsibility
There will be a drive to enhance captaincy skills, encouraging captains to take full responsibility for their players’ actions and behaviour.
Step 4: Referee managing the game
There will be a similar drive to enhance referees’ match management skills – to create an environment where potential problems are addressed before they escalate.
This is supported by an education programme, with Respect modules being added into all FA Learning courses.
The FA recommends that whole leagues or divisions, rather than individual clubs, sign-up to the Respect programme, so that when your team plays a league game, the opposition has also signed up to Respect.
If you are a club and wish to take part in the FA Respect programme, we recommend that you county your league secretary to let know you would like to be involved.
If you are a league and want to sign up to the Respect campaign, contact your County FA to find out more. Each County FA has a Respect lead officer who will support your application for club resources and will be able to answer any questions.