FA Respect Programme

Respect is the collective responsibility of everyone involved in football to create a fair, safe and enjoyable environment for everyone in which the game can take place.

To see an FA video about the Respect programme click here

The Respect programme was launched in 2008 in response to concerns at deteriorating behaviour at all levels of football.

When the programme was launched, it was acknowledged that persistence would be required to tackle the problems that football faces and for the Respect measures to have an impact.

After five seasons, although media headlines tend to be dominated by high profile incidents in the professional game, the underlying stats at all levels of football indicate a much more positive story.

• On-field behaviour in all affiliated football – compared to the 2012-13 season - has seen dissent cautions down by 13 per cent, all cautions down by 10 per cent, all dismissals down by 13 per cent and all misconduct down by nine per cent.

• Since 2008, The FA has managed to recruit and retain nearly 5,000 more referees. Having a qualified, neutral referee has a real impact on the quality of the playing experience.

• Cases of referee assaults/physical contact with referees are down by seven per cent from last season (528-491) and although The FA are pleased that the number of assaults has reduced by 21 per cent from 2010-11 (618), the overall number remains of concern. It is never acceptable to lay hands on an official.

• We have changed youth football for the better – The FA’s campaigns, coach and referee education programmes, use of touchline barriers, touchline marshals, Respect signage and briefings for parents have led to a more positive environment in which children can enjoy and learn the game. After five seasons, we are beginning to develop a Respect generation of youth footballers.

• Players still derive huge enjoyment from playing the game. In season 2012-13, 60 leagues asked their participating teams to mark each other using The FA’s ‘Full-Time’ administration system. This led to 125,000 sets of marks being submitted and a total of 900,000 questions were answered, revealing a positive experience of grassroots football. Using a marking scale of 1 (unacceptable) to 5 (excellent) the behaviour of coach/manager was ranked 4.55, behaviour of players 4.43, behaviour of supporters 4.53, overall behaviour at this match (both teams) 4.57 and the team's overall enjoyment of this match 4.42.
You may not see it happening but at every game your team plays, your coach/manager, players and supporters are all marked for "Respect" by the opposition and referee. Teams that persistently fall below acceptable standards face sanctions from Leagues and the FA

• This perception is also shared by referees. Of 6,500 Respect Reports submitted by referees last season, the overall marks out of five were 4.07 for the behaviour of the participants and 4.19 for their overall enjoyment. This leads to the conclusion that the vast majority of referees are treated with Respect by the people they come across and enjoy their experience of officiating.

• In the Professional Game, whilst headlines are always dominated by high profile incidents, the underlying statistics also indicate an improvement.

Learn more about the FA Respect Programme at the FA Website by clicking here

Copies of our Respect Codes of Conduct for Parents, Players and Officials can be downloaded below.