Berks & Bucks FA can present the final edition of our quarterly Discipline and Safeguarding infographics for the 2022/23 season highlighting work being done to track and tackle poor behaviour in the grassroots game.
The latest statistics provide an update on the number of disciplinary incidents, discrimination reports and safeguarding referrals for the period of 1 July 2022 until 30 June 2023. Over this period, approximately 50,000 grassroots matches have been completed across Berks & Bucks.
The statistics provide some insights into on- and off-field behaviour across the grassroots game, including:
• Overall, the number of misconduct charges fell 9% compared with 2021/22. This is partly due to a significant drop of 20% in charges for abusive language against a match official.
• There continue to be a large number of complaints relating to the behaviour of spectators in youth football.
• There was, however, a 20% increase in reports of discriminatory language across the County, with the majority of incidents occurring in youth football. Five allegations were made against children under the age of 11 and resulted in education sessions being arranged by the County FA to help the players understand the impact of language and importance of inclusion. Worryingly, a further 12 reports related to alleged discriminatory language by adults in youth football.
• A number of historic social media posts containing discriminatory language were brought to the County’s attention, resulting in suspensions between two to six matches depending on the age and nature of the offence.
• Approximately 60% of discrimination complaints were closed without charge. Of these, 52% were closed due to insufficient evidence supporting the allegation, and 23% were either withdrawn by the complainant or could not be pursued due to the complainant wishing to remain anonymous.
These trends will help inform the County’s operational plan for 2023/24 and beyond as we seek to address poor behaviour across the game. This includes:
• Creating resources to support Clubs manage discrimination complaints
• Launching a new video campaign tackling poor spectators behaviour
• Introducing inclusion training and diversity targets for the extended County FA workforce and League network
• Providing professional support to victims of discrimination
We will continue to provide updates throughout the 2023/24 season in January, April and July 2024. Our recently launched Discrimination Strategy for the 2023/24 Season
also provides further information on the work being done to tackle poor behaviour in the game.
For more information about tackling misconduct and discrimination in grassroots football, please contact Alastair Kay, Head of Governance, via email
For any queries regarding Safeguarding please contact our Designated Safeguarding Officer
, Graham Fisher. Alternatively, please visit our dedicated Discipline
Click on the images below to view the full reports.