The FA and Football Foundation team up for Respect campaign.
The Football Foundation has teamed up with The FA to provide funding towards Respect Barriers and Respect Packs as part of The FA’s Respect campaign. The campaign aims to maintain acceptable levels of behaviour at grassroots games so that everyone can enjoy the game in a safe environment.
The FA has provided the Football Foundation with £200,000 for the scheme, which will cover both Respect Barriers and ensure that there is a de-marcated area along the touchlines at grassroots football matches within which spectators must stay, as well as Respect Packs which will include equipment such as captain’s armbands, marshal’s bibs and signage.
FA Respect Manager Dermot Collins believes that the Respect measures have had a real impact in grassroots youth football: “The Respect programme was launched in 2008 and has had a significant impact on creating a more positive environment for young people to play the game. We’ve seen fewer raging touchline parents and ‘win-at-all-cost’ coaches, and as a consequence it’s a more enjoyable game for everyone involved – including the 6000 additional referees we now have.
“This scheme will help extend some of the good practice we’ve seen make a difference in the grassroots game. Touchline Barriers are an effective but inexpensive way of improving spectator behaviour and the Respect Packs will provide a club with the means to send out a strong visual statement of its commitment to Respect.
“The vinyl banners can be displayed at club houses, pavilions and central venues. The pitch marshal’s bibs have been employed successfully at many clubs to welcome opposition supporters and to work with the referee to create a positive playing environment. Team captains can really help referees in their management of the game and the armbands elevate the status of the captain.”
The Football Foundation's Chief Executive Paul Thorogood commented: “It is essential that everyone is able to enjoy our national game and that people, especially youngsters, are not put off by unacceptable language and behaviour.
“By teaming up with The FA and providing £200,000 towards Respect Barriers and Packs, the Football Foundation is helping to create an environment where everyone can feel safe and comfortable at the grass roots level of football.”
Collins added that he believes the scheme will make the promotion of Respect affordable for all clubs and the value of investment in this equipment will be seen quickly in enthused and contented participants.
Clubs can apply online to the Football Foundation for a voucher offering them a 50 per cent discount on the price of a barrier and other Respect promotional items. FA Chartered Standard Clubs will be able to access additional vouchers.
For more information apply online by clicking here.