"It's time to start stamping out unacceptable behaviour in grassroots football"
The F.A. have sent an open letter to hundreds of Grassroots Football Clubs, citing that poor behaviour and practices towards players, officials, coaches and club volunteers is playing an instrumental role in children and volunteers not pursuing Grassroots Sports.
Read below for the full letter.
"Football has a unique power to deliver amazing benefits to individuals and communities. Not only does it keep us physically and mentally healthy, but it also builds long lasting friendships, teaches leadership and resilience and inspires the nation.
However, for all the good that football can bring, sadly last season, at all levels of the game, there were too many examples of unacceptable behaviours that had the opposite impact. At the grassroots level, these included swearing, aggressive shouting and persistent arguing among spectators, players and officials. It is only a small minority of people that act in this way, but these individuals can spoil the game for everyone, causing children and young people to not want to play, referees and volunteers to drop out and spectators to stop supporting their team.
As The Football Association we are not going to stand by and allow this to happen.
We will take action against those that spoil the game for others.
For this coming season we will:
• Promote our RESPECT message to encourage the right behaviours.
• Consider harsher sanctions for those behaving inappropriately.
• If necessary, we will continue to look at how we strengthen penalties and suspension periods so that we can effectively tackle behaviours that have no place in the game.
• Trial different initiatives to help encourage the right behaviours, including piloting two silent side-lines weekends.
Please play your part and let's make this season a brilliant one"
Our Anchorians Ethos already support respect, fun and communication as our priorities, with the children's and players needs always coming first, so we will always stand with campaigns like this to continue making football enjoyable for all.
Please help us to continue setting a great example of what grassroots football is all about!