A new protocol has been issued by The FA for dealing with discriminatory abuse aimed at players, managers or match officials by spectators at grassroots level, aiming to ensure it is effectively addressed so participants feel protected.
Found online at the foot of this page, the protocol specifically aims to clarify the matchday process for club and match officials where discriminatory behaviour by spectators is witnessed at football matches. It applies specifically where incidents are heard, or witnessed by, players, managers or match officials on the pitch.
Clubs are responsible for monitoring, reporting and acting on abuse from their spectators. Offenders should be identified and dealt with efficiently by the clubs while ensuring the match, where possible, is not unduly interrupted.
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. The referee must also report all incidents brought to their attention to the relevant County FA as an extraordinary incident, even if they didn’t hear the abuse.
Intended as a summary document, the protocol advises a visit to www.thefa.com to analyse what constitutes discriminatory abuse, the investigation process and the full procedure for dealing with other incidents of discrimination or abuse.
Any person who witnesses any form of discriminatory abuse should report the matter on matchdays immediately to the match referee and submit a follow-up report to the local County FA. If a person does not feel comfortable in reporting the matter to the County FA, they should submit it to Kick It Out via firstname.lastname@example.org or through the Kick It Out app.