Platform for Football Privacy Policy

Summary of how Platform For Football (“PFF”) uses your data

  • PFF is a system used by The Football Association Limited (“The FA”), County Football Associations (“County FAs”) and individual participants in football. PFF may request new personal data from you and also uses the data that you have already provided to Whole Game System or other FA systems. This data is used by The Football Association Limited (“The FA”) and County Football Associations (“County FAs”)
  • When you use PFF, you may be asked to enter sensitive data into the system in order to allow The FA to carry out diversity monitoring. However, this information is stored and then processed by The FA anonymously
  • This privacy policy sets out more details of your data protection rights, including your right to object to certain processing

What does this privacy policy cover?

This privacy policy describes how The FA and County FAs will make use of your data when collected or stored in PFF.

What information does PFF collect?

PFF collects and processes personal data about football participants, and parents of football participants. This may include, depending on your role:

  • your name, FAN and password;
  • your photo;
  • your date of birth and gender;
  • your contact details where applicable, including email address, phone number and physical address;
  • any parent/carer/child relationship you have to another registered individual;
  • your playing gender and nationality;
  • your current FA memberships and membership ‘Caps’ (if any);
  • your DBS status;
  • your safeguarding qualifications held (if any);
  • your FA training record (if any); and
  • your FA marketing preferences status.

Other Data Sources

  • PFF also uses information from the Whole Game System, The FA’s football administration system. The Whole Game System Privacy Policy details how The FA and others use participant data for, among other uses, club affiliation and player registration purposes
  • If you use your FA number (FAN) or email address to log in on another FA website, this will be processed in accordance with The FA Group Privacy Policy
  • If you are an intermediary, or a match official, the collection and use of your data by The FA, County FAs and Other Football Associations through Whole Game System is discussed in more detail in the Match Officials Privacy Policy and Participants Privacy Policy respectively.

How do various parties use this information, and what is the legal basis for this use?

Your County FA will use your information for the following purposes:

  • As required by your County FA to administer the game and pursue its legitimate interests, in particular:
    • communicating with you or about you where necessary to administer the game, such as informing you of a change in registration status;
    • communicating with you to make you aware of or ask for your opinion on County FA initiatives;
    • administering and ensuring the eligibility of match officials and players involved in games governed by the County FA;
    • maintaining records of the game as played in that county, in particular maintaining details of discipline and applying appropriate fines and/or suspensions;
    • ensuring that children and individuals at risk in the game are appropriately protected from harm, including safeguarding activities, and checks of whether appropriate mandatory training and checks have been carried out; and
    • if you provide a credit or debit card as payment, checking the validity of the sort code, account number and card number you submit through a third party in order to prevent fraud (see data sharing below).

The FA will use this information for the following purposes:

  • As required by The FA to conduct its business and pursue its legitimate interests, in particular:
    • communicating with you or about you where necessary to administer the game, including informing you of a change in registration and responding to any questions you send to PFF’s administrators;
    • communicating with you to make you aware of, or ask for your opinion on Football Association initiatives;
    • administering and ensuring the eligibility of match officials and players involved in English football;
    • maintaining records of the game as regulated by The FA, in particular maintaining details of discipline and misconduct;
    • monitoring use of PFF, and using this to help it monitor, improve and protect its content, services and sites, and investigate any complaints received from you or from others about PFF or how PFF has been used; and
    • communicating with you to ask for your opinion on FA initiatives.
  • Where you give your consent:
    • The FA will send you direct marketing in relation to its relevant products and services, or other products and services provided by The FA or The FA’s official partners and suppliers – this is described in The FA Group Privacy Policy, together with information on your rights. You saw this when you first registered for a FAN
    • The FA places cookies and uses similar technologies in accordance with its Cookies Policy and the information provided to you when those technologies are used.
  • For purposes which are required by law:
    • in response to requests by government or law enforcement authorities conducting an investigation.

Withdrawing consent

Wherever The FA relies on your consent, you will always be able to withdraw that consent, although it may have other legal grounds for processing your data for other purposes, such as those set out above.

What cookies and/or tracking technologies does The FA use?

When you visit one of our websites, we may also collect, process and use informing about you and your use of the website, including any forums you visit and how you arrived at our site. Such information may be collected through "traffic data" and may entail the use of "cookies" or other tracking technologies, IP addresses or other numeric codes used to identify your computer. For more information on Cookies please click on the link to our Cookies Policy.

Apple iOS and Android Devices
If you access an FA application from these devices you consent to cookies being stored to your device (and other tracking technologies being used to read data from your device) for the following purposes: keeping you logged in, ensuring that an appropriate version of content is presented, analytics and advertising. Many of these cookies and technologies are essential to the operation of the application. It is not currently possible to opt out or remove these cookies (or prevent use of these technologies) from the device without deleting the application.

How is data shared, where and when?

Personal data may be shared with government authorities and/or law enforcement officials if required for the purposes above, if mandated by law or if required for the legal protection of the parties’ legal or legitimate interests in compliance with applicable laws.

Personal data will also be shared with third party service providers, who will process it on behalf of the controllers for the purposes identified above. Such third parties include providers of payment processing services.

If at any point your information is transferred outside the EEA, and where this is to a stakeholder or vendor in a country that is not subject to an adequacy decision by the EU Commission, data will be adequately protected by EU Commission approved standard contractual clauses, an appropriate Privacy Shield certification or a vendor's Processor Binding Corporate Rules.

Referee Registration

Where you register as a referee using PFF, some of your registration information will be available to any league in which you officiate. In particular, your name, FAN, refereeing levels, safeguarding qualifications and date of birth will be visible to all leagues. Leagues should also inform you if you have been added to their panel of referees. For all referees under 16, leagues are required to certify that they have parental consent to add youth referees to their panels.

What rights do I have?

You have the right to ask any of the relevant data controllers for a copy of your personal data; to correct, delete or restrict (stop any active) processing of your personal data; and to obtain the personal data you provide to us for a contract or with your consent in a structured, machine readable format.
In addition, you can object to the processing of your personal data in some circumstances (in particular, where one of the data controllers doesn’t have to process the data to meet a contractual or other legal requirement, or where it is using the data for direct marketing).

These rights may be limited, for example if fulfilling your request would reveal personal data about another person, where it would infringe the rights of a third party (including our rights) or if you ask a data controller to delete information which it is required by law to keep or has compelling legitimate interests in keeping. Relevant exemptions are included in both the GDPR and in the Data Protection Act 2018. We will inform you of relevant exemptions we rely upon when responding to any request you make.

In some instances, you will need to contact more than one of the data controllers to ensure your rights are met, as they may have access to different data and have different reasons for holding the data. As the main provider of the system, The FA will be in the best position to provide you with a number of these rights, particularly access to all information held about you in PFF and to correct any underlying data connected to your FAN.

To exercise any of these rights, you can get in touch with The FA – or its data protection officer – using the details set out below. If you have unresolved concerns, you have the right to complain to an EU data protection authority where you live, work or where you believe a breach may have occurred. This is likely to be the Information Commissioner’s Office in the UK.

How do I get in touch with you, or your data protection officer?

If you wish to make a data privacy request, you can do so via our online form, which can be found here. We hope that we can satisfy queries you may have about the way we process your data. If you have any concerns about how we process your data, you can get in touch at or by writing to: Data Protection Officer, Wembley Stadium, PO Box 1966, London, SW1P 9EQ.

Which County FA is my data controller?

The data controllers for your information are any County FA you referee in. The FA is also a data controller for all data within PFF. You can check which County FAs you are affiliated with by logging in to PFF.

How long will you retain my data?

Subject to the below, The FA and County FAs retain your information on PFF for five full seasons after your account has become inactive on PFF or Whole Game System. For the avoidance of doubt, activities that will result in your account being deemed active include, but are not limited to, being registered as a referee or logging onto your account.

The FA and your County FA will also retain limited information about discipline (including yellow cards, red cards and suspensions) indefinitely in order to maintain a record of the game. For more information on how we hold your other disciplinary data, please see:

You can contact The FA if you no longer wish to participate in the game, and you can change your details by logging in to PFF

Where your data is held on FA systems, then at the end of the retention periods set out above, we will then irrevocably delete your information after another 3 months – your data will be held in an inactive form during this time to ensure that any consequential links across our systems remain intact in the event that your data is removed in a particular location.

Last updated: 30 April 2020.