Robot Demands Respect

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Robot Demands Respect
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The FA has launched a new advert to remind people about the importance of Respect.

The film looks at the potential of ‘corrective’ technology – think ED209 from Robocop - to deal with the problems of raging touchline parents, the loss of referees, foul mouthed players or abusive managers.

Dermot Collins, The FA’s Respect Manager, said: “The application of technology is an ongoing discussion in Football. This film takes a light hearted look at how it can be applied to improving behaviour in the Grassroots Game but ultimately the solution is in our own hands. We all have a part to play.”

The Respect programme was launched in 2008 and although there is much still to do, after five seasons across all levels of football on field discipline has improved, assaults on referees have fallen, 5,000 more match officials have been recruited and the environment of children's football has improved (see national review below).


The 2013/14 Season

For the 2013/14 season The FA and Cornwall Football Association will continue to promote the importance of Respect to its affiliated clubs and leagues.

Jo Small, Cornwall FA's newly appointed Respect Lead Officer, intends to work closer with Clubs, Leagues and all members of the football community to identify good practice and take a joint proactive approach to improve behaviour at grassroots level in Cornwall:

Jo Small Cornwall FA"Cornwall FA will be introducing a new workshop called ‘Ref – are you havin’ a laugh?’ that will challenge grassroots players and managers as to their knowledge of the game and enable them to gain a greater understanding as to the demands placed on referees. There are a lot of great volunteers in the game and I firmly believe that together we can make a real difference by playing our part in addressing poor behaviour".

Support for clubs and leagues to purchase touchline barriers, pitch and pavilion signage, Respect bibs and other promotional items will continue to be offered by a Football Foundation scheme and for the first time the equivalent of a Disciplinary ‘Speeding Course’ will be piloted in County FAs with the intention of educating offenders as to the impact of physical or verbal abuse. In addition The FA’s Respect Awards will continue to identify good practice that will be used to inspire others.


National Review of Respect Campaign 2008-2013

  • On field behaviour in all affiliated football – compared to the 2012/13 season  - all dissent cautions are down by 13%, all Cautions down by 10%, all dismissals down by 13%, all misconduct down by 9%  
  • Since 2008 the FA has managed to recruit and retain nearly 5,000 more referees. Having a qualified neutral referee has  a real impact on the quality of the playing experience
  • Cases of Referee's assaults/physical contact with referees – are down by 7% from last season ( 528-491) and although the FA are pleased that the number of assaults have reduced  by 21% from 2010/11 (618)  the overall number remains of concern. It is never acceptable to lay hands on an official.
  • Youth football has changed for the better – the FA’s campaigns, coach and referee education programmes, use of touchline barriers, touchline marshals, Respect signage and briefings for parents have led to a more positive environment in which children can enjoy and learn the game. After five seasons we are beginning to develop a ‘Respect ‘generation of youth footballers.
  • Players and Referees still derive huge enjoyment from playing the game. In season 2012/13 the FA collated over 125,000 reports from Referees and Team Managers. On average they marked their enjoyment in excess of 4 out of 5. This included a consideration of the Behaviour of players and supporters and leads to the conclusion that the vast majority of Referees are treated with Respect by the people they come across and enjoy their experience of officiating
  • In the Professional Game whilst headlines are always dominated by high profile incidents the underlying statistics also indicate an improvement.  

Further information

For more information about the Respect programme in Cornwall, please visit the Respect section of our website or contact Respect Lead Officer Jo Small via email or on 01208 269010.

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