Launched by the FA in 2008, the RESPECT programme has become an integral part of football at all levels of the game. Its objectives were to see an improvement in behaviour in the game; by creating a fair, safe and enjoyable environment for everyone involved. Through education, campaigns were designed to address issues such as pushy parents, poor coaching practices and abuse of referee’s
Since the inception of RESPECT, Grassroots clubs have been asked to sign up, implement and promote the campaign, and to promote positive behaviours within their club. All charter standard clubs in Nottinghamshire, of whatever level are expected to take active steps to ensure they do this. All affiliated leagues in the county are signed up to the programme.
So what is Respect? There are 4 steps outlined in the programme:
1. Codes of conduct
There are codes of conduct for all those involved in the game. Young players, adult players, coaches, team managers, club officials, spectators (including parents/carers) and match officials all have their own codes, which outline what is expected of them. Each season all those involved are invited to sign that they have read, understand and will adhere to the codes.
You can view and download the RESPECT Codes of Conduct below.
2. Match-day environment
Included in this is the introduction of designated spectator areas, which are set back and if possible, separated from the playing area. These have been a great success over the years, and most leagues encourage RESPECT barriers to be in place along the sides of the pitch. Clubs are also asked to really bring RESPECT to life by making the codes of conduct visible at their grounds, having Respect posters on display and having a clearly identifiable RESPECT ambassador.
Further details and guidance on how to create the best possible match-day environment for you club can be downloaded below.
Captains are asked to take responsibility for their team and lead by example on the pitch. They should be clearly identifiable by wearing a captain’s armband. They should help to prevent unwanted behaviour and help the referee by ensuring their team mates focus on playing.
It is appreciated that players in the younger age groups may not be mature enough to successfully achieve this, and referees are aware of this.
4. The referee manages the game
Referees are expected to manage the game, ensuring it is played within the rules, and do this by adopting a stepped approach. They are also asked to ensure that teams follow the RESPECT handshake protocol.
Parents, carers and supporters
Parents and carers have a massive part to play in the promotion of RESPECT. Much of the poor behaviour at games is displayed by parents, eager for the children in their care to do the best they can. Unfortunately this can lead to undue pressure being placed on young shoulders who just want to play the game they love with their friends.
There are a host of resources available to clubs to help promote the RESPECT campaign. FA guides are available to view and download.
Video links to give you a further insight into the campaign:
Respect Captains armbands can be purchased direct from Nottinghamshire FA priced at £2 each.
For any enquiries, queries, advice, guidance or a chat about anything RESPECT related, please contact the Nottinghamshire FA Respect lead:
Tim Jones – Football Development Officer