New Respect Campaign

From the start of the 2020-21 season, referees under the age of 18 covering District games will wear a yellow armband to signify their age, making everybody aware that they are a child.  The aim of the armband is to make people think before they speak, as safeguarding them is a priority for us all. Our referees have a challenging role and it important that the League and clubs support them especially those under the age of 18. Last season on a number of occasions referees were subjected to insulting, offensive and abusive language, and it’s time to put a stop to it.

The Swindon & District Football League are certified as an FA Respect League and the League Committee respectfully ask you, your players and spectators to engage fully with our new 2020-21 Respect Campaign and take greater ownership of the Respect Charter below.

RESPECT CHARTER. Your club has two main responsibilities:

  1. Ensure everyone within the club, whatever their role, fully understands the actions which could be taken if anybody breaks the code of the Charter.
  2. Your club deal fairly and consistently with anyone within your Club who breaks the code

On and off the pitch, everyone within the club will:

  • Always play the game fairly and in the right spirit.
  • Be aware of the impact of bad language; please keep spectators and members of the public, including children in mind.
  • Avoid criticising match officials. Please accept that they try and make honest decisions and confronting them will not change it
  • Never verbally abuse a match official, player or spectator based on their appearance, race, religion, gender or sexuality. Doing so could lead to dismissal from the field, suspension and possible police action.
  • Never physically assault a match official, player or spectator. Doing so could lead to dismissal from the field, suspension, and possible police action.
  • Win, lose or draw with dignity, and be prepared to shake hands with match officials, opposition players and Manager at the start of the match and again at Full Time.

And as a player I understand: If I transgress, I may expect to:

  • Be cautioned, sin binned or sent off by the match officials, depending on the nature of the offence.
  • Be asked to apologise to whoever I have offended or abused.
  • Be disciplined by my club, including being substituted, dropped, given a formal warning or suspended from training or matches depending on the nature of the offence.
  • Be disciplined by the County Football Association, including being fined or suspended for a number of matches depending on the nature of the offence.
  • Be handed a permanent exclusion by the County Football Association, if the offence is deemed serious enough.

Our mission as a certified League, as far as is practically possible, is to ensure that you always have a League appointed referee, and if you can all maintain a desired level of behaviour as defined above it won’t become mission impossible.

On behalf of the SDFL Management Committee