JFA Plan To ‘Clean Up’ Football

The Jersey FA has vowed to take action over indiscipline and the abuse of referees.

It’s after 10 red cards were shown on a single day.

The governing body has unveiled its plan to ‘clean-up the sport’.

JFA CEO Jean-Luc Desbois says many officials are unhappy about how they’re being treated.

“There was concern there. Obviously they’ve seen a lot this before and there’s some reservations of will things improve.

“My message to them as it is to the rest of the Jersey public and particularly the footballing community is we all need to put effort into this to make this better.

“It’s not just about referees and it’s not just about players.”

One game on 29 September, also known as ‘Red Saturday’ had to be abandoned because of the level of abuse aimed at the match officials.

The plan was unveiled after a meeting with referees last week that lasted more than two hours:

  • Referees have been asked to be firmer with players but mindful of respecting them.
  • Stricter application of the laws, particularly around dissent, meaning sin-bins will be used more regularly.
  • A lower tolerance on foul and abusive language.
  • Managers, coaches and club officials will be reminded of their responsibility to manage the behaviour of players, spectators and technical areas.
  • Referees will speak to managers before games to ensure their individual style of refereeing is understood and communicated to players.
  • Managers and coaches will be asked to attend Respect education training. This could be expanded to include persistent offending players.
  • Clubs will be asked to punish or exclude serious offenders and trouble-makers.
  • A full re-launch of the FA Respect campaign will follow and better communication has been agreed between referees and clubs.
  • Action will be taken against participants who use social media to abuse referees, clubs, the league and the JFA.
  • Schools and youth football to take a tougher line on abusive parents and spectators.
  • Match Officials, Adult Players, Coaches & Team Managers, Club Officials, Young Players, Spectators and Parents/Carers to follow the FA Respect Code of Conduct.

Mr Desbois says implementing these improvements will take time though.

“We need to be realistic there. There will be days like 29 September, particularly with a new firmer line on enforcing the laws of the game. We are expecting some bumpy weeks ahead.

“However if we stick to the plan, we will get better days.”

“The players have been crying out for more opportunity. Sunday (the debut of Jersey Parishes FC) was a good example of that – it was a well-played game in the right spirit with lovely conditions.

“What makes for a better game is if we’re not seeing players sent off every five minutes.”

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