The Football Association (FA) has recently launched a new campaign in its Respect program on March 3rd when England took on Egypt at Wembley. It is time that we all lend our support to what is a great campaign designed to reduce levels of anti-social behavior, both on and off the pitch.
Whoever has played football probably knows someone who completely ruined the atmosphere of a great game because of their abusive behavior. Some of you might also know a potentially great player who has been lost to the game because of an overbearing adult shouting and screaming on the touchline.
FA’s two ‘Are You Losing It?‘ films address both issues and holds up a mirror to those most in the need of a wakeup call for their bad behavior.
There has been good progress made under the Respect program so far and here are some of the stats about the campaign:
- There has been a 9% increase in the number of qualified referees this season and there are 5197 trainee referees at Level Nine – a 45% increase on 2008/2009.
- Dissent cautions are down in 12 out of 16 of the senior professional leagues and divisions. In the Premier League alone dissent cautions are down by 37% whilst in the Championship the numbers are down by 53%, with League One showing an 8% decrease and League Two dropping by 10%.
- Respect has become a compulsory module in the FA’s training courses for all new referees and coaches (over 25,000) coming into the game each season.
- Referee assaults down 25% on previous season.
But there is still a lot of work to be done. There were 800 grassroot games abandoned in 2008/2009 season due to player or spectator misconduct and 1 in 4 parents would not consider confronting an offensive spectator for fear of physical retaliation.
In England, out of the current 1,169 leagues in England, 707 have signed up for the Respect program whilst over 80,000 education packs have been distributed to leagues, clubs and referees.
For more information, visit: Respect – ‘Are You Losing It?’