The Respect programme includes four practical steps to improve behaviour – on the pitch and on the sidelines – in and at matches throughout the country.
The FA is inviting every league in the country to sign-up to Respect and to introduce some practical steps at club level to ensure football is played in a safe, positive environment. Already 752 leagues out of 1,200 have signed up for respect although implementation of the Respect interventions is at different stages across those leagues. These leagues have all taken a positive step towards ensuring no-one has to endure abuse in grassroots football.
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 introducing 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.