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Protocol for Dealing with Discriminatory Abuse in Football

Whilst Staffordshire FA will always work to keep discriminatory abuse out of the beautiful game, there are still occasions where players, managers or match officials can suffer.

Specifically on matchdays, there are particular protocols that should be followed in order to report and deal with discriminatory abuse. 

Match Day Process and Responsibilities

First and foremost, club representatives are responsible for monitoring, reporting and acting on any abuse from their spectators towards players, managers or match officials on the pitch.

Offenders should be identified and dealt with by the clubs while ensuring that the match, where possible, is not unduly interrupted. 

The process of this protocol is as follows: 

The incident should be brought to the attention of the match referee during a break in play.

The referee should report the incident to the relevant club representative; this person is likely to be the Secretary, Manager or other Club Official.

The person/people responsible for the abuse should be identified, with the appropriate action being taken during play.

If, within an agreed amount of time, the problem continues, the referee is permitted to remove the players from the pitch and suspend the game.

If, after this, the abuse does indeed continue, threatening the welfare of any participants, the referee should consider abandoning the match.

Any decision to suspend or abandon a match should be taken solely by the match referee after full consultation where deemed appropriate with both team managers and captains.

Whilst this protocol is aimed at incidents of discriminatory abuse by spectators, the match referee must report all incidents bought to their attention to the relevant County Football Association.

Report Discriminatory Abuse

Any person that witnesses any form of discriminatory abuse should report the matter immediately to the match referee and submit a follow up report to Staffordshire FA or to Kick It Out via or through the Kick it Out app.

More Information

For wider details of what constitutes discriminatory abuse, the investigation process or the full procedure for dealing with other incidents of discrimination or abuse, please visit www.TheFA.Com.