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Just recevied an email from the London FA.

Dear Richard

I am writing to thank you for all your hard work and commitment to refereeing in 2007-08.

The role you are playing in football is a key one and without a qualified official, players cannot enjoy the game on the same level. Your contribution to football is invaluable.

The FA recently conducted a survey of 37,000 people involved in grassroots football. Their No.1 priority was addressing abuse to referees and from parents on the sidelines. Another top priority was having a qualified official for every game.

This year you will see two key campaigns from The Football Association to address these issues. Firstly, we will launch RESPECT across the game to campaign to reduce verbal abuse aimed at referees from players and parents on the sidelines. We hope that if RESPECT makes a difference to behaviour, we will stand a better chance at looking after you, our referees. Secondly, we’re investing in Referee Development Officers in County Football Associations who will be responsible for the recruitment, retention and supporting referees. We will also run a national recruitment campaign to attract more people to take a basic refereeing course.

It certainly is an exciting time for football right now as The FA begins to implement its 2008-12 National Game Strategy to develop the grassroots game over the next five years.

You should have already received your registration form for 2008-09. If not, please contact Andy Porter at the London FA on Andy.Porter@londonfa.com . We hope that you sign up for another season to help us take football forward.

Ian Blanchard

The FA Head of National Referee Development

Should be interesting to see what measures will be taken at national level.

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Guest Rabinowitz_The_Red

it should be but more information

most clubs in this county said that they want to stomp out the abuse but my question is?

Y do they do it in the first place. if they won't it to stop then why don't they stop it themsleves. Now some clubs which i won't name as i shouldn't are really good and stomp this out but other clubs i think base there game to bully the referee.

So if most clubs wanted this to happen why has it happened now when the FA have intervened.

I hope rooney calms down to cause he is such a ........... sorry phone ill finish this later.

lol i love a good moan :yahoo:

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YEAH, I RECEIVED THE SAME LETTER AS RICHARD.

MANY COACHES, MANAGERS AND SECRETARIES HAVE ATTENDED THE "RESPECT" FORUMS HELD ALL OVER THE REGION.

IT WAS VERY INTERESTING TO NOTE THAT ALL PARTIES CONCERNED AGREED THAT THE ABUSE OF THE GOOD GUYS IN BLACK HAS TAKEN A TURN FOR THE WORST AT THE HIGHEST LEVELS OF OUR GAME.

HOWEVER, WE ALL AGREED ON ANOTHER POINT; THAT IN ORDER TO IMPROVE GRASS ROOTS FOOTBALL THAT THE RESPONSIBILITY SHOULD LIE WITH THOSE AT THE HIGHEST LEVEL OF FOOTBALL WHICH INCLUDES PLAYERS, OFFICIALS, MANAGERS, JOURNALISTS AND ALL THOSE THAT HAVE INFLUENCE.

SINCE THEN, FABIO CAPELLA AND GORDON BROWN HAVE JOINED IN AND WITH ANY LUCK, WE SHOULD SEE SOME NEW ATTITUDES NEXT SEASON.

IT HAS ,IN FACT, ALREADY STARTED. ASHLEY COLE STILL HASN'T PUBLICLY APOLOGISED TO HIS MISSUS YET (I'M SINGLE BY THE WAY IF THE OTHER FOUR FROM GIRLS ALOUD ARE WATCHING) AND YET HE HELD HIS OWN PRESS CONFERENCE APOLOGISING TO THE NATION BECAUSE HE WAS WORRIED OF THE POSSIBLE PENDING PUNISHMENT.

A NEW SEASON BECKONS, I'VE GOT A NEW BLACK SHIRT (SAME OLD BOOTS), AND I CAN'T WAIT.............

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Guest Ronin

IN ORDER TO IMPROVE GRASS ROOTS FOOTBALL THAT THE RESPONSIBILITY SHOULD LIE WITH THOSE AT THE HIGHEST LEVEL OF FOOTBALL WHICH INCLUDES PLAYERS, OFFICIALS, MANAGERS, JOURNALISTS AND ALL THOSE THAT HAVE INFLUENCE.

You're absolutely right. I spend every Saturday morning with our Under 11s drumming into the kids my (rather strict) "respect your opponent and each other" policy and then they go home & put the match on in the afternoon and see their heroes doing much worse. I might as well bang my head on a wall :(

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IN ORDER TO IMPROVE GRASS ROOTS FOOTBALL THAT THE RESPONSIBILITY SHOULD LIE WITH THOSE AT THE HIGHEST LEVEL OF FOOTBALL WHICH INCLUDES PLAYERS, OFFICIALS, MANAGERS, JOURNALISTS AND ALL THOSE THAT HAVE INFLUENCE.

You're absolutely right. I spend every Saturday morning with our Under 11s drumming into the kids my (rather strict) "respect your opponent and each other" policy and then they go home & put the match on in the afternoon and see their heroes doing much worse. I might as well bang my head on a wall :(

what a great point,your dead right over paid prima donas :P

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Guest Sport Lover

When I select the county hockey team I base some of my choices on attitude to officials. I dont want Cornwall to be known as a moaning team so I dont pick players that do.

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I think the PFA Chief Executive Gordon Taylor had it spot on in that respect should be a two way streak. Referees must respect players also.

There is a number of ways in which referees at all levels wind up players. The main one I find is that the man in black is there to control the game and not be the star of the show. Man management of players on the park must be at an all time low. As the older wiser referees gradually go out of the game they are replaced by officials, many who have never played the game looking to impress by being traffic policeman

As an ex referee I know what it is like to face an angry player who thinks I have done him wrong, and in some cases I probably did. Provided he didn't try to attack me I tried to calm him down with a quick reason. If he persisted like the Liverpool guy then he deserved what he got. But then you had the situation where the referee knew what was coming, stood his ground which then inflames the situation. Far better to difuse the situation by giving the decision and then try to make the game start as quickly as possible by getting out of the potential danger area. I am sure if referees did that then half the cards issued would never have been issued unless of course an idiot player chased the referee up the park which quite frankly deserves a card of some sort.

Football is still supposed to be fun even at the highest level, lets not make match officials untouchables for their actions. I'm sure someone will come on here and say footballers should know the laws of the game if not they should not be there I'm afraid the vast majority do know the laws of the game what they get all het up about sometimes is the officials interpetation of them. And yes 9 times out of 10 the officials will most probably be right.

There are some referees even at our level who deliberately go on the field to antagonise. There is a vast difference between incompetence and arrogance. The arrogant ones actually do not apply the laws of the game correctly because they have there own version of an incident which sometimes borders on the bizarre and as long as they are the centre of attraction.

Lets hope that match officials also show respect to players and are properly punished for transgressing but not in house and never by their peers. There has been a gradual downward slide in the relationship between players and match officials and it must be addressed, but fairly.

One of the major problems has been the remarkable increase of foul and abusive language and intimidation from the dug-out, why this has not been addressed is beyond me. What seems daft is that the laws of the game have not really changed for donkey’s years. So why are they not applied properly against the vile abuse and ridicule from the dugout.

It’s always been said that a good referee is rarely seen or heard in a well controlled match. And I have seen many like that this season so why are not more officials controlling matches in a fair and honest way. yes some games have a nasty air about them before they start but officials can control that properly and sinsibly.

Any official who goes blindly by the laws of the game and fails to see the whole picture of an incident will always anger players and quite frankly they should be dropped down a few levels to learn their trade a little better. It also means that their ego's take a little knock and a little humuility is learned.

How many of you who play or watches football hears a referee apologise aftermaking a bad decision or shout I didn't see anything. I did it all the time if I felt I had made a hash of a decision. I can assure you - you will soon gain the respect of players. After all we are all human and we all make mistakes.

Whatever happened to the 10 yard rule where a referee could march out another 10 yards for abuse etc being hurled at him.

So like Gordon Taylor said it’s a two way streak. Let’s respect each other and I'm sure the game will improve. But please note match officials will not change society, match officials; player’s, club officials and everyone involved in the game must try that much harder and be helped along the way.

We need as many match officials as we can possibly get. Yes there are some nasty players out there and they should be given maximum suspensions especially if they continue to transgress.

Players and especially club managers must also be part of this respect issue. If a player or the management continues to be abusive towards officials then get rid of them. It's the same for fans. Why should they not be ejected for doing exactly what the players and managers are doing.

I'm sure if the FA allows this situation not to be inflamed into 'an us and them situation' throughout the game then all should be well. It's called commonsense.

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Top response from ECPL. Spot on.

What happened to the 10 yard rule? A group of idiots - sorry an F.A. committee, got hold of it and made it mandatory for the referee to caution the offending player when the play was moved 10 yards. That took all the immediacy and impact out of the rule as the play had to be stopped to issue the caution. Referees hated doing that and so the rule was dead. A great idea killed.

Must say that I'm proud of the way that the West Cornwall Sunday League deals with referees. The League has a very effective and strictly enforced code of conduct for clubs that fines offenders and will, for the first time this year have a sensible cash reward for well-behaved clubs. Every League meeting contains a rant about how players must respect referees.

I am the first point of contact for any referee who feels that they've been treated badly by Sunday clubs. I have had to contact two clubs this season. Both were totally apologetic and immediately fixed the problem.

It can be done.

A significant feature is that the players report enjoying the game more and, of course, we retain our referees.

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Guest postman pat

some refs have been dropped by the premier league for bad incidences so why dont the clubs make an example of the players. i will tell you why they dont!

MONEY!!!!! money always has and always will talk and that is why all of these initiatives start at grass root level. :SM_carton:

ITS DOWN TO THE HIGH PROFILE MANAGERS TO MAKE AN EXAMPLE OF THESE PRE MADONNAS but they wont because most of them fear for their jobs if they stand up to them.these players will just go to another club and most probably get a pay rise to boot. :SM_carton:

some example to the kids :angry2:

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As the older wiser referees gradually go out of the game they are replaced by officials, many who have never played the game looking to impress by being traffic policeman

ECPL got news for you I am a referee and have been for 24 years, the only prob is i am also an ex Police (17years) and TRAFFIC officer (10 years) oh and also an ex player, played for 15 years before taking up the flag - must be one of those few who don't fit your criteria then. LOL

Incidentally weather out here is hot (84) and sunny. B)B)B)B) B)

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