Middlesbrough's game with Norwich next month will be Respect day.
Championship club Middlesbrough FC have invited The FA to use their fixture with Norwich City early next year to promote the club’s support of the Respect Programme.
With the help of the North Riding County FA, local leagues and clubs will be welcomed to the Riverside Stadium and recognised for their commitment to improve behaviour in football. Prior to the game, both teams will warm up in Respect t-shirts, a huge Respect flag will be paraded in front of the fans and Respect goodie bags will be handed out to representatives of local leagues.
Speaking about the event, The FA's Respect Manager Dermot Collins said: "Since its launch, RESPECT has made great progress. Perceptions may still be skewed but the reality is that in the professional leagues we are making inroads, where dissent cautions are down year-on-year and cases of harassment of match officials are almost negligible.
"In the amateur game, there is a long way to go, but the signs are that we’ve stabilised what was a growing trend towards abusive behaviour.
"Most positive of all, we believe that RESPECT has re-established a route into refereeing and this year over 5000 new referees have been welcomed onto parks pitches up and down the country. We now need to keep these referees and not lose them to intimidatory behaviour, if we’re to make sure everyone who plays the game has a referee to make it a real game of football."
Steven Wade, the North Riding County Development Manager added: “I would like to thank Middlesbrough FC for getting behind the Respect programme. By showing that the professional game is behind the programme, hopefully this will filter down into the grassroots leagues. It’s important that we stamp out unacceptable behaviour in football at all levels.”
As part of this Respect fixture, Middlesbrough FC have also kindly agreed to a group booking rate for this game for all affiliated leagues, clubs, teams, players, parents, coaches and officials as long as the tickets are booked through the North Riding County FA.
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