At Lancashire FA we have a number of responsibilities to everyone in the County participating in the game, at all levels and disciplines.
Support for referees is one, and ensuring fair disciplinary procedures are followed, is another. We are particularly sensitive when a referee is a minor and pride ourselves on the level of support we offer through our mentoring programme and local referee associations.
Under FA Referee Rules & Regulations match officials are required to attend disciplinary or regulatory hearings.
After being made aware of a concern about a referees’ attendance at a discipline hearing, Lancashire FA offered as much support as possible through our Referee and Discipline departments to alleviate any concerns and ensure a fair discipline process was followed for all participants involved.
In discussion with the parent, offers were made to provide the referee with the best possible support during the hearing. This included coming in early to view the set-up of the room, a member of the referee department being present during the hearing as well as the parent, the alleged offenders would not be able to speak to the referee directly and other offers to make it as comfortable as possible.
Following dialogue with The Football Association it was agreed that that evidence could be provided via a video link which was agreeable by all parties.
The personal hearing was followed in accordance with FA Regulations and we have forwarded the case papers to The FA centrally to confirm the matter has been dealt with correctly.
At no stage was the referee charged by Lancashire FA.
The outcome of the personal hearing is subject to an FA appeal should either party wish to pursue this.
We are arranging for our Referee Development Officer to meet with the parent of the referee to provide ongoing support in his continued referee career.
Lancashire FA works tirelessly to raise standards of adult behaviour in grassroots youth football thereby creating a fun, safe, and developmental environment.
Lancashire FA deliver a programme of adult education workshops, free of charge, at our local clubs ensuring that all volunteers and parents are aware of their responsibilities as role models. Last season Lancashire FA delivered this programme to over sixty clubs and thus far this season have visited in excess of thirty clubs.
Our discipline panels regularly impose educational sanctions on individuals and clubs as we believe that changing attitudes is critical to changing behaviour. It is important to remember that cases of poor practice in youth game represent less than one per cent of all games played. That said we remain ever vigilant and never complacent.
Roger De Nobrega