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FA Respect Programme

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Season 2008/09

The FA Cup sponsored by E.ON

Match Official Appointments

Preliminary Round

Saturday 30 August 2008


The FA Respect Programme

The FA Respect Programme is being introduced by The FA for season 2008/2009 to help raise

standards and address abusive behaviour in the game. The Respect Programme is a key aspect of the

FA’s Vision for the next 4 years and The FA hopes that, as well as improving behaviour in the game at

all levels, it helps with the recruitment and retention of referees..

As part of the Respect Programme, for all FA Competitions it has been decided to introduce both the

initiative that involves the referee working with the team captain on the day to manage the players

and the game effectively and the pre-match fair play handshake initiative.

The FA would like your help in implementing these two protocols in this round of the competition.

We have therefore introduced the following guidelines as an AIDE MEMOIRE for referees.

Working with the Team Captain

1. The referee will work with the team captain in order to manage the players and the game effectively.

Note the IFAB Guidelines for Referees, Assistant Referees and Fourth Officials which state that 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.

2. The referee must control the game by applying the Laws of the Game, and deal firmly with any open

show of dissent by players (e.g. not move away from the incident, but stay and deal with it).

3. The referee should use a stepped approach where appropriate to managing players e.g. 1) free kick,

2) free kick with quiet word, 3) free kick with public admonishment (this is the time referees should

consider using the captain to more visibly get the message across), 4) yellow card.

4. The stepped approach does not negate the fact that the referee has the authority within the Laws of

the Game to issue disciplinary sanctions without recourse to the captain.

5. Whilst recognising that players may on occasions make an appeal for a decision (e.g. a throw in,

corner or goal kick), It is important that the referee distinguishes these from an act of dissent which

should be punished with a caution.

6. 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.

7. 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


Fair Play Handshake Protocol

The following protocol should be applied where possible:

1. The starting eleven from both teams together with the three match officials (excluding fourth

official) should take part in the handshake.

2. Each team should line up on the same side of the half-way line that they exit the tunnel, with the

match officials in the middle.

3. The Home team, led by their captain, then walks to shake hands with the match officials, and

then the away team’s players (see 1 below). Once each Home team player has finished shaking

hands with the last away team player they disperse to their favoured end to kick-in.


4. Once the last home team player has completed the handshake, the Away team then follow their

Captain passing in front of the match officials to shake hands (see 2 below) before dispersing to the

opposite end of the pitch from the home team.

5. 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.



*********C *** C *********

N.B. © Captains

Referees will need to play a leading role in the implementation of the Programme at all levels of

the game to ensure that it is a success and the authority and respect for match officials is



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I think giving them a kiss on either cheek should set the tempo of the game.

What has been written should already be done by the referee and captains etc.

Then there is common sense.

Shaking hands is fine.

The one thing that has been completely ignored is the referee and his conduct and ability to control a football match.

Many incidents are caused through the referee making a complete horlics and then takes the arrogant attitude that he is forever always right.

This nonsense of cautioning a player for kicking the ball away in a split second of temper should be ackowledged by raising the arm with the stop watch and telling every one that he has stopped the watch If a player deliberately kicks the ball away with the intent to deliberately waste time then a caution can be given.

There was a classic case in the Saltash v Wadebridge match of a player being cautioned because he kicked the ball away because the referee made a complete mess of awarding a free kick to the wrong team and quite frankly made a fool of himself. (and it was not just my view of the incident but the view of many other fans who actually saw the funny side of it all by laughing at the referee because they couldn't believe his decision). But no - a referees mistake caused a player to be cautioned.

Respect runs both ways and match officials must be fully aware of their reponsilities when taking the field of play and that is the first law of the game. COMMONSENSE.

The lining up and shaking of hands was done when I played in Germany 40 years ago.

We live and hope that everyone plays the game in the right spirit but somehow I think not.

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Guest Sport Lover

Introduce a sin bin and that will solve most of the lack of respect issues for players. 5 or 10 minutes in the sin bin to cool down will change players behaviour.

Why dont the FA or FIFA do that???

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Sorry B Manning. It is just applying the laws of the game. In fairness I would be dumbfounded if I was refereeing now. Yes players behave as if they are out on a Saturday night. So why do you all need a 'respect' charter. Just apply the laws of the bloody game and be human. And as I said above. Come down hard on the bench which I mean the managers and their assistants and kick them out of the ground. A team will always reflect on the antics or not of the teams management. You have the power, just bloody enforce it.

All what you are being asked to do you should have been doing for the last umpteen years. Its about time referees stood their ground and said WE WILL USE COMMON SENSE. But they wont because too many are to keen to rise up the ranks. If it means a has been referee is stuck in the stand and assesses you because in HIS opinion you did not apply the laws of the game IN HIS OPINION - then tell him to whistle. Perhaps we will get back some common sense in officiating the game. I'm sure the players will prefer it.

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optimus prime, You're clearly one of the people that this initiative is being aimed at. If you can't respect authority, maybe you should become an official and learn first hand why those that have bothered to gain the qualification deserve our respect.

Then again, I'm guessing that you're probably way too good to have to respect a lowly little referee or his/her assistant?.


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theres me saying we should enrol optimus on this on another thread and he has completely disrespected it a lready without me noticing!

says it all really doesnt it!

you are the type of person they are trying to eradicate from the game

bet you are the type that EFFS and BLINDs at kids matches!

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Anita, knowing you, you will end up down my way but after you've finished "rehydrating :drink: " yourself after each game. ;)

like the song says :c: give a little respect :c:

Bloody hell mate, never had you down as an Erasure fan. :o .. Good on you, "I try to discover a little something to make me sweeter". ;)

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