Referees have a major role to play in Respect. Here's how match officials can help to incorporate Respect into their games.

Attend a County FA Information Session

You will be invited to a Respect information session or workshop, hosted by your County FA and league. It's vital you attend, as it will explain what you need to do to be part of the programme - and answer any questions you may have.

We need you to be absolutely clear about what your Respect role entails.

Read, understand, accept and sign up to the match officials' code of conduct

All referees need to sign the Match Officials' Code of Conduct contained in this pack.

Ensure you understand others' codes of conduct

There are four Codes of Conduct covering various football participants:

  • Club Officials, Coaches and Team Managers
  • Spectators, Parents and Carers
  • Adult players
  • Young players (under 16)
  • Like the Match Officials' Code, they also include penalties which can be imposed.

Please ensure you read and understand all these Codes.

Naturally, we want to take a sensible and measured approach to the imposition of penalties and we are relying on you, as the controller of the game, to be clear about:

  • What everybody else at the match has signed up to
  • When action needs to be taken
  • What needs to be done.
  • Respect will only work if we are fair and consistent. Ignore people's abusive behaviour, those who do not keep to their Code, and there is no Respect. As a referee you have a pivotal role to play.

Monitoring Respect

Some referees will be asked to help The FA to monitor if the Respect programme is having a positive impact on behaviour.

If the league to which you are appointed uses The FA's league administration system Full-Time you will be asked to provide feedback on matches that you officiate at. This is a simple task that will only take a few minutes each week.

Please contact Referees Development Officer Craig Grundy at  with any queries relating to refereeing. Alternatively you can telephone the office on 0114 261 5500.