Respect is The FA's programme of activities to combat unacceptable behaviour in our game at every level - on the pitch and from the sidelines.
This was the No.1 priority emerging from the biggest opinion survey to date of grassroots football in England. It was carried out in late 2007 and directly informed The FA's National Game Strategy, published in March 2008.
We hope that Respect will ensure a safe, positive environment for everyone to enjoy football. From the start it will have an impact on the following areas
- Referee recruitment and retention: By tackling abuse towards match officials, we hope to reduce the stream of referees understandably leaving the game.
- Participation within youth football: Abuse and pressure from the sidelines needs to stop if we are to ensure young children enjoy, stay and progress in the game.
- Coaching and player development: An encouraging and player-centred approach is vital if we are to improve coaching standards - particularly for the key 5-11 age-group. It's simple: better coaches produce better players.
- Safeguarding children: Everyone in football has a duty of care towards children - ensuring they are able to play football in a safe, enjoyable environment free of abuse, bullying and discrimination.
Improving behaviour is a whole-game issue and the 2008-09 season will see the Respect programme introduced at professional and grassroots levels. To do this, The FA is actively working with the following organisations:
- The Premier League
- The Football League
- The Professional Footballers' Association (PFA)
- The League Managers' Association (LMA)
- Professional Game Match Officials (PGMO)
- All County FAs
Minister for Sport Gerry Sutcliffe has lent his support to the Respect programme, saying: "Football is the most high profile sport in the world and with the new season about to start, the game is back in the spotlight. Footballers today are not just sportsmen, they are role models for young people around the world. Passion is at the heart of the game, but being passionate doesn't mean disrespecting people. It's absolutely crucial that players, coaches, officials and spectators sign up to Respect. We need to see a commitment to change at all levels of the sport, and I'm grateful to the FA for leading the way."
To find out more about Respect, use the links below.
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