The programme will be implemented in professional and grassroots football, and encompasses not only respect towards match officials, but also the conduct of overly-competitive coaches and parents on the sidelines at grassroots youth games.
It represents a shared commitment between The FA, Premier League, Football League, PFA, LMA, PGMO, County FAs and regional and local leagues. A range of new measures will be in place to improve the relationship between players and match officials and conduct in the technical area at the top end of the game. Leagues up and down the country will hopefully be implementing measures to address the abuse and intimidation of referees and the excessive demands placed on young players.
The FA are delighted that the whole game is working together on this issue. There is a general agreement that something has to be done to improve levels of respect, for the game’s long-term health.
This 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 to change negative attitudes and abusive behaviour. It needs the whole game working together to make a real difference, and that is what collectively we have done.