The Football Association (FA) has announced plans to dock grassroots clubs points if there are any incidents of abuse or discrimination.
New rules will come into play from the 2023-24 season for those clubs below tier six in the men’s game, and in tier three and below in the women’s which would see them docked 3 to 6 points if players or coaches engage in discriminatory language or misconduct against a match official on more than one occasion across 12 months. Should further offences occur clubs can be docked up to 12 points.
FA Chief Executive Mark Bullingham said “We frequently hear from grassroots participants that player behaviour is a growing issue and we’re determined to change this. We hope this proves to be a strong deterrent which helps to improve the culture within the grassroots game. We’re also working with the professional leagues and other stakeholders to tackle poor behaviour in the professional game and will provide an update on this ahead of next season.”
Kick It Out said “This is something we saw as a long-term ambition at Kick it Out; these things usually take a lot of time. The FA have brought it to the table and got it done a lot quicker than we imagined.” The FA have received widespread praise for the move but many have also said the rules should extend to fan behaviour and should be applied across the whole of the footballing pyramid.