Lots of children also stop playing football because of the attitude and actions of overenthusiastic and pushy parents.On average, 7,000 referees quit football every year at because of the abuse they receive from players and from the sidelines.
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, designated spectator areas and ensuring captains work with referees to manage player behaviour.
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.
Downloadable versions of these codes are now available in Word format for clubs and leagues to use in their handbooks and literature.
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.
Respect is a continually developing programme as The FA, including Oxfordshire FA, moves towards creating 20,000+ new teams and providing 8000 additional referees as well as retaining the services of all current referees.
The programme is not only about players and managers at the top of the game acknowledging the impact that their behaviour has further down the football pyramid, but also about addressing the most pressing issues in the grassroots game. Changing a culture is about long-term commitment, we need to change negative attitudes and abusive behaviour. It needs the whole game working together to make a real difference.
The FA recommends that whole leagues or divisions sign-up to Respect rather than just individual clubs. This will mean when your team plays a league game, the opposition has also signed up to Respect. If you are a league or club and want to sign up to Respect or you would like to find out more then please contact the OFA or email firstname.lastname@example.org Please put Respect in the "Subject" to ensure your email goes to the right department.