This is an abridged version of the F.A. Respect campaign. If you woulds like to read the whole version visit



Clubs are to mark out the Designated Spectators' Area on only one side of the pitch - it is recommended that fans and parents/carers from both sides stand behind this barrier on one full length of the pitch. This means no-one should be watching from behind the goals.
This allows the coaches of both teams to stand on the other side of the pitch,(it is hoped technical areas will be marked out) meaning players get instructions from just one side of the pitch.



My role in Respect



Respect affects the entire game, and needs your help, regardless of how you are involved in football.





Whether you're in the starting eleven or on the bench, your role as a player is crucial to the success of Respect.


On a matchday, you'll be expected to work with your coaches and your captain to allow the referee to manage the game without being subjected to abuse. With the game losing thousands of referees from the game every year, it's hugely important, because without the referees, the game isn't the same.


If the league you play in adopts the Respect programme, you will be asked to read, agree to, and sign, a Code of Conduct at your club. This will be your 'promise' to abide by a set of rules governing your behaviour as a player. Working together with your coach, your captain, and each referee that takes charge of your games during the season, you can play a major role in improving the game for everyone, through Respect.



Respect Code of Conduct: Adult Players


On and off the field, I will:

  • Adhere to the Laws of the Game

  • Display and promote high standards of behaviour

  • Promote fair play and behave within the spirit of the Laws of the Game

  • Always respect the match officials' decisions

  • Never engage in public criticism of the match officials

  • Never engage in offensive, insulting or abusive language or behaviour

  • Avoid bullying, intimidation and poor behaviour

  • Speak to my team-mates, the opposition and my coach/manager with respect

  • Ask my team captain to talk to the referee if I have a problem relating to the game

  • Remember we all make mistakes

  • Shake hands with the opposing team and the match officials at the end of every game



I understand that breaches of the code may result in action being taken by my County FA and /or The FA.



Respect Code of Conduct: Young Players


It is important everyone behaves themselves when playing football.


As a player, you have a big part to play. That's why The FA is asking every player to follow a Respect Code of Conduct.

  • When playing football, I will:Always do my best, even if we're losing or the other team is stronger

  • Play fairly - I won't cheat, complain or waste time

  • Never be rude to my team-mates, the other team, the referee, spectators or my coach/team manager

  • Do what the referee tells me

  • Shake hands with the other team and referee at the end of the game

  • Listen to my coach/team manager and respect what he/she says

  • Talk to someone I trust, for example my parents or the club welfare officer if I'm unhappy about anything at my club.



I understand that if I do not follow the code, action may be taken.



Captains Role


Captain taking responsibility


As a captain, you have no special status or privileges under the Laws of the Game, but you do have a degree of responsibility for the behaviour of your team.

As captain you are the only player allowed to approach the referee.


To promote Respect, the referee will work with you, as the team captain, to manage the players and the game effectively.


Even if you are some way away from an incident when the referee feels he/she needs you involved in a discussion with a player, the referee will call you over. This will ensure that, as the team captain, you remain the point of contact for the referee.

How Captains can help to instil Respect:

  • Ensure you wear a Respect captain's armband - these will be provided by your league to your club.

  • Together with your opposition captain, make yourself known to the referee before the game. He/she will ask if you are clear about your responsibilities.

  • Ensure all your players understand what they can/cannot do in relation to the referee and what is meant by 'unwanted behaviour'.

  • No-one's trying to curb enthusiasm - just instil more discipline. This can only benefit your match - and football as a whole

  • Ensure your vice-captain (appoint one if you haven't got one) is aware of these rules, in case you are unavailable for a game, or have to leave the field.

  • Ensure every player in your team has signed the Respect Code of Conduct.





Coaches have a hugely important role to play in Respect, as they are not only responsible for their own behaviour, but they can also influence that of their players and spectators, too.


On a matchday, you'll be expected to work with your players, parents and other spectators to allow the referee to manage the game without being subjected to abuse.





I will:

  • Show respect to others involved in the game including match officials,opposition players, coaches, managers, officials and spectators

  • Adhere to the Laws of the Game

  • Display and promote high standards of behaviour

  • Always respect the match officials’ decisions

  • Never enter the field of play without the referee’s permission

  • Never engage in public criticism of the match officials

  • Never engage in, or tolerate, offensive, insulting or abusive languageor behaviour.


When working with players, I will:

  • Place the well-being, safety and enjoyment of each player above everything, including winning

  • Explain exactly what I expect of players and what they can expect from me

  • Ensure the parents/carers of all players under the age of 18 understand these expectations

  • Refrain from, and refuse to tolerate any form of bullying

  • Develop mutual trust and respect with every player to build their selfesteem

  • Encourage each player to accept responsibility for their own behaviour and performance

  • Ensure all activities I organise are appropriate for the players’ ability level, experience, age and maturity

  • Co-operate fully with others in football (e.g. officials, doctors,physiotherapists, welfare officers) for each player’s best interests.



I understand that breaches of the code may result in action being taken by my County FA and /or The FA.






The Respect programme aims to allow Referees to officiate matches without being subjected to abuse by players, coaches or spectators - and the referees themselves have a key part to play in the process.


Working in partnership with the clubs they officiate, referees can provide post-match feedback regarding the behaviour of players, parents, coaches and other spectators, to help the clubs enforce their Codes of Conduct.


The behaviour of the match officials has an impact, directly and indirectly, on the conduct of everyone involved in the game - both on the pitch and on the sidelines.




Respect Code of Conduct for Match Officials


When officiating I will:

  • Be honest and completely impartial at all times, irrespective of the teams, players or team officials involved in the match

  • Apply the Laws of the Game and competition rules fairly and consistently

  • Manage the game in a positive, calm and confident manner

  • Deal with all instances of violence, aggression, unsporting behaviour, foul play and other misconduct

  • Not tolerate offensive, insulting or abusive language or behaviour from players and officials

  • Support my match official colleagues at all times

  • Set a positive personal example by promoting good behaviour and showing respect to everyone involved in the game

  • Communicate with the players and encourage fair play

  • Respond in a clear, calm and confident manner to any appropriate request for clarification by the team captains

  • Prepare physically and mentally for every match

  • Complete and submit, accurate and concise reports within the time limit required for games which I officiate



I understand that breaches of the code may result in action being taken by my County FA and /or The FA.






Parents have a big responsibility as part of the Respect programme.


Respect is working to eradicate touchline abuse in football, and parents can play their part by agreeing to, and signing, their club's Code of Conduct and abiding by them throughout the season.


Parents also have a responsibility for their children's behaviour. The players will also be asked to sign a Code of Conduct, and parents can encourage their children to adhere to the players' code.


Respect Code of Conduct for spectators and parents/carers


I will:

  • Remain outside the field of play and behind the Designated Spectator Area (where provided)

  • Never engage in, or tolerate, offensive, insulting or abusive language or behaviour

  • Always respect the match officials' decisions

  • Applaud effort and good play ( of both teams ) as well as success



In addition, when attending youth games I will:

  • Remember that children play for FUN

  • Let the coaches do their job and not confuse the players by telling them what to do

  • Encourage the players to respect the opposition and match officials

  • Never criticise a player for making a mistake -mistakes are part of learning



I understand that breaches of the code may result in action being taken by my County FA and /or The FA.





The Respect programme relies on clubs and leagues to take active steps to ensure high standards of conduct throughout their club or league. Leagues can champion the Respect programme, and communicate the importance of Respect to their member clubs through meetings and bulletins. Club officials can sign up to and enforce Codes of Conduct for their players, coaches, parents and spectators, which will set the standard for behaviour throughout their club.


For more information on the F.A.Respect campaign go to