Matchday guidance for referees

Rules and Regulations

Protecting all involved in the sport


Want to know the correct pitch dimensions?

Need International Clearance for your new signing?

Read our key guidance below for more information on the following areas; Sine Die Suspensions, FA Pitch & Goalpost Dimensions. International Clearance, Playing Against Foreign Opposition, and Sanctioning an Event.

Whether you’ve just started out as a club administrator or you’ve been part of the game for longer than you can remember, we’re here to guide you through the rules and regulations that may come up in the course of running your club.

Get In Touch

Vicky Collins
Members Support (Discipline)

(T): 01785 256994 (ext. 203)
(M): 07969 294083


A player is placed under Sine Die suspension when they owe money to either the Staffordshire FA or to a League or Club that has used the Debt Recovery Scheme.

Before signing a player it is essential that you check to ensure that they are not under any form of suspension. A player under Sine Die suspension is prevented from taking part in any form of football activity.

Any player under Sine Die suspension can have their suspension lifted immediately on payment of the outstanding debt.


The FA receives many enquiries regarding pitch and goalpost sizes that are suitable for specific age groups. Their are guidelines in place for each age group involved in the game, and these can be found by clicking HERE.


International clearance is required by all players moving across borders to play football. It applies to all players of 10 years of age and over.

Please be vigilant when registering players. If you think they have played abroad they will need clearance back before they can play in England ("Abroad" even applies to Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland).

Make sure you ask your players if they have played outside of England before you register them. If they have you will need to contact The FA Registrations Department. They will do their utmost to get the player cleared for you as soon as possible.

Please note that it is not possible to get clearances immediately. The FA has to deal with dozens of foreign Associations and sometimes the process is slow. Please also remember the time differences in some countries, especially America and Australia.

Clubs seeking International Clearance should make a request in writing to The FA Registrations Department:
Registrations Department
 08449 800663

Clubs and players may be required to complete an application form which is available from The FA Registrations' Department or online. A separate form is also required for applications from the United States.


Has your club lined up fixtures against a Foreign Club, either in England or abroad? Getting approval from The FA has never been simpler.

In accordance with FIFA Regulations Governing International Matches and FA Rule B.4 (b), any Football club (with a team of any age group) wishing to play a match or series of matches against members of another national association and/or in the territory of another national association must apply on the prescribed forms to The FA at least 60 days before the date of the intended match or series of matches, where possible. Applications which cannot be made by the deadline should still be submitted and The FA will endeavour to provide permission prior to the match(es). 

If you require permission to play against foreign opposition, please email to request an application form. Once the form is completed, the Staffordshire FA will forward the application on to The FA. Any queries in relation to matches against foreign opposition can also be sent to



Are you looking to get your club’s Tournament sanctioned? Are you looking to get approval for a Charity Match?

Don't worry, you're in the right place and the good news is, it's never been easier to sanction an event with us.

E-mail and request our Event Sanction Form. This will then need to be complete and returned to Staffordshire FA (at least 14 days prior to your event).

Send in a copy of your event rules for clarification.

Then, all you need to do is send in your completed forms. After that, just sit back and let us do the work. Once everything has been completed, you'll receive confirmation that your event has been sanctioned.