Every year the whole of football in England unites to promote Play Safe – The FA-led countrywide campaign to focus attention on the vital importance of safeguarding across our national game.
The Play Safe weekend reached 3 million people and sent a great message of respect and good behaviour. The campaign's message, sent from all levels of football from the Premier League to the U7 Grassroots teams, has never been more important and comes at a time where reports of poor adult behaviour at children’s football is increasing.
Poor spectator behaviour is one of the biggest factors impacting enjoyment for young players and referees as they witness or receive abusive or threatening language and behaviour by parents on the touchline. The vast majority of grassroots matches are played in a positive and fun environment, but every weekend at least one player will probably have their experience ruined by the behaviour of a parent, coach or other adult on the sidelines.
Play Safe is a very clear message.
It is about children being able to enjoy their football in a fun and safe environment.
Children don’t want parents and coaches to be shouting, arguing, fighting, or abusing referees and opposition players, coaches, and parents. They don’t want people coming on to the field of play without permission, and they certainly don’t want to be shouted at by people on both sides of the pitch. They just want us to let them play.
Children’s football is for children. It's their game. Please don't ruin it.
need to keep up to date with the safeguarding children course. If you haven’t done it before, you can find the course here
. If, as a youth coach, you’ve done the course before, but it has expired or is expiring, you can find the free recertification course here
, you need to be aware of welfare. Particularly if you have 16- or 17-year-old players in your team. You can find the appropriate free course here
Parents and Carers
, please update yourself around safeguarding for children in football. A free awareness course specifically for parents and carers can be found here
We really need to see the message of the Play Safe weekend repeated every weekend throughout the season.