Irish Grassroots Football

The English FA Respect programme

I recently was researching the English FA grassroots site and saw that they were up for a UEFA Grassroots Award for their RESPECT programme . The programme which is trying to ensure respect for referees and a more relaxed attitude from parents towards youngsters playing the game.

“The English Football Association has taken a radical new approach to tackling bad behaviour from fans and players by launching Respect FC. The aim of the club is not to win silverware or secure a Champions League place; its goal will be to unite fans against the ugly side of the beautiful game to create a safe and enjoyable environment in which it can take place”.

Respect FC

“Appointing comedian and avid Bristol City fan Mark Watson as Chairman, the Club has been founded through concern from both the top level of the game and the grassroots community around abuse towards referees and poor sideline behaviour. Respect FC is not your usual football club; it’s a football club made up of people from all walks of life, with one collective goal – to bring Respect back to the game we all love”.


“For every fan that joins Respect FC, The FA has pledged to put £1 back into the Respect initiative within grassroots football (up to the value of £50,000). Members of the Club will be able to vote online at to say how this money is used at the end of the 2010-11 season”.

Alex Horne, The FA General Secretary, added: “Football fans from all clubs and all leagues have a collective responsibility to let others know that they will not stand for this behaviour from the grassroots of the game up to the international stage. That’s why we’re asking everyone, to ask everyone, to join the club and together win the match against bad behaviour.”

FC Respect Ireland

Respect is the collective responsibility of everyone involved in soccer to create a fair, safe and enjoyable environment in which the game can take place. However week after week parents, players, coaches and fans consistently abuse the refs throughout various parts of Ireland and I think its time we ran this abuse out of our game and set-up our own Respect programme in Ireland – “FC Respect”

Respect is winning

A recent research from The English FA should that 40 per cent of players, coaches and referees think the Respect programme has improved their experience of the game. The majority of participants surveyed were also aware of the Respect programmes key objectives with 68 per cent recognising that Respect aims to create a safe and enjoyable environment for the game. Since the RESPECT programme was rejuvenated the English FA have already witnessed the benefits it has made to the game.

On field discipline
Dissent cautions across top four divisions of the professional game were down by nine per cent last season (2009-10).
Referee recruitment and retention
Referee numbers are up 7.4 per cent year-on-year.
Assaults on referees
Assaults on referees are down 13 per cent year-on-year.
Experience of the game
40% of the grassroots football community has seen their experience of the game improve as a result of measures introduced through the Respect programme.
Support within the game
17,000 FA coaches were trained in Respect measures last season
752 leagues have signed up to Respect.

Lets get our own campaign going this year, its never to late to start anything…FAI are you reading this…?

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