BBFA Discipline & Safeguarding Reporting

Discipline & Safeguarding Reporting Q2

Discipline, Discrimination & Safeguarding reporting figures from July 2023 - Dec 2023

Discipline in numbers

Berks & Bucks FA is pleased to present our first Discipline and Safeguarding update for the 2024/24 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 2023 until 31 December 2023. Over this period, approximately 20,000 grassroots matches have been completed in Berks & Bucks. 

The statistics provide some insights into on- and off-field behaviour across the grassroots game, including:

There has been a large increase in match-based discipline, with a 25% rise in dissent compared to the same period for the 2022/23 season. This is in part attributed to a renewed national focus by The FA for match officials to stamp down on dissent and abusive language across the game. 

Following high profile campaigns by both The FA and County FA for participants to report discrimination, the number of allegations of discriminatory language has almost doubled compared to this time last season. We believe that the increased number of reports provides a more accurate reflection of the prevalence of this type of language in the game.  

Of those incidents reported to us, the proportion of allegations of discriminatory language leading to a disciplinary charge or mandatory education session has increased from 35% to 50%. We hope that this, in some part, reflects the additional resources and processes the county FA has introduced over the past 12 months towards victim support and the investigation process.

The behaviour of adults in youth football continues to be a major concern. 75% of misconduct complaints in youth football, including 50% of allegations of discriminatory language, relate to the behaviour of adults (coaches, match officials or spectators). 

There has also been a significant increase in the number of misconduct cases relating to Women’s football. Over the entire course of the 2022/23 season, only three misconduct charges related to Women’s Football. There have been 12 charges in the first six months of the current season.

These trends will help inform the County’s actions over the next quarter, including:

Increasing the visibility of our “Let Us Play” media campaign highlighting the impact of poor spectator behaviour in youth football through additional promotions and paid-for advertising

Working with our local Women’s Leagues and Clubs to reverse the rise in poor behaviour in this area of the game

Continuing to action our Anti-Discrimination Strategy, including creating new avenues of support for victims of discrimination

Working with our network of Youth Leagues to establish a standardised intervention process to avoid low level poor behaviour escalating.

We will provide further updates throughout the 2023/24 season in April and July 2024.

For more information about tackling misconduct and discrimination in grassroots football, please contact Alastair Kay, Berks & Bucks FA Head of Governance, via email.

For any queries regarding Safeguarding please contact our Designated Safeguarding Officer, Graham Fisher. Alternatively, please visit our dedicated Discipline and Safeguarding pages.

Click on the images below to view the full reports.

2023/24 Discipline Stats Q2 2023/24 Discrimination Stats Q2 2023/24 Safeguarding & Welfare Stats Q2