ARMY FA GUIDELINES FOR THE RESPECT PROGRAMME
Football Association Charter Standard League Programme
The FA Charter Standard League Programme is an initiative that is designed to help and support football in a number of areas including:
- Deliver an improved service and support structure to leagues
- Help implement the principles of Long Term Player Development
- Deliver on the Respect Programme.
The Army FA has nominated the following to be FA Charter Standard Leagues:
Massey Trophy (Mens) (Divisions 1 and 2)
Inter Corps League (Womens)
What Is Respect?
Respect is a continuous Football Association programme and not a one off initiative. Its goal is to allow people to play, officiate and watch football without having to be subjected to abuse and mockery. The message is clear- We must all improve standards of behaviour- on and off the field.
Respect offers everybody in grassroots football a high quality, safe, enjoyable experience that is nationally recognized.
By signing up to this we are demonstrating that we are committed to raising standards and addressing poor behaviour within the league and member clubs.
In addition the representative teams are expected to set the highest standards and implement the main criteria of the Respect programme.
Match Officials and Working with the Team Captain
The referee will work with the team captains in order to manage the players and the game effectively. The referee must control the game by applying the Laws of the Game and dealing firmly with any open show of dissent by players (eg not move away from the incident, but stay and deal with it).
The captain has no special status or privileges under the Laws of the Game but he has a degree of responsibility for the behaviour of his team. The referee has the authority within the Laws of the Game to issue disciplinary sanctions without recourse to the captain.
Even if the captain is some way away from an incident when the referee feels he needs him involved in a discussion with a player, the referee will call the captain over rather than using any other senior player. This will ensure that the captain remains the point of contact for the referee.
These guidelines should be seen as an additional preventative/supportive tool in order for referees to manage the game effectively. The key to the above is using the captains in a more visible way, where appropriate.
Fair Play Handshake Protocol
The following protocol should be applied where possible:
The starting eleven from both teams together with the match officials (including any appointed fourth official) should take part in the handshake.
Each team should line up on the same side of the half-way line that they enter the field of play, with the match officials in the middle.
The Home team, led by their captain, then walks to shake hands with the match officials, and then the away team’s players. Once each Home team player has finished shaking hands with the last away team player they disperse to their favoured end to kick-in.
Once the last home team player has completed the handshake, the Away team then follows their Captain passing in front of the match officials to shake hands before dispersing to the opposite end of the pitch from the home team.
Once the handshakes have been completed the match officials then proceed to the centre circle for the coin toss.
Whilst we understand that it may be difficult to implement this protocol in every case, we would ask that referees do what they reasonably can to ensure its implementation.
Codes Of Conduct
This is the responsibility of each section the code is aimed at- young players, adult players, spectators/parents, Coaches/Managers, Club Officials and match officials. We all have a responsibility to promote high standards of behaviour within the game. (Further details are available within the packs that are supplied to clubs, leagues and officials). Respect works on placing responsibility for their actions on individuals.
Each Respect Code of Conduct explains that action can and will be taken through the Army Football Association if the code is broken.
As a directive from the Army FA we emphasise the importance and significance of the role that coaches and managers have to play to ensure the long term success of the Respect programme. Discipline on the pitch is clearly linked to discipline within the technical areas and we expect managers and coaches to again set the highest standards of conduct and behaviour.
Designated Spectators Areas
Respect recommends that a Designated Spectators Area is provided and Respect barriers and/or marked areas are used. If these methods are used the Designated Spectators Area will be marked on one side of the pitch- it is recommended that fans from both sides stand behind this barrier on one full length of the pitch. This allows the coaches of both teams to stand on the other side of the pitch, meaning players get instructions from just one side of the pitch.
Monitoring Respect - Full Time
Monitoring behaviour is a key element to measuring the impact of the Respect programme. One method of evaluating the success of the programme is that Referees officiating within leagues that use the Football Association Full Time Management system will be able to log on and answer basic questions about the behaviour of the teams, officials and specators at specific matches and to state their own enjoyment of the matches they officiate. A separate instruction will be sent to referees when this service is available to use.
Please note that Respect is an ongoing programme. Separate guides are available for Referees, Clubs and Leagues. Individuals will receive the guide that is relevant to their part in football.
For further information regarding the FA Respect Programme please visit: