Football Association Wales tackles abuse of young players


Parents and officials at Cardiff Hibernian FC spoke about the issue

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A campaign to stop parents and spectators shouting at children from the touchlines has been launched by the Football Association of Wales.

It says children as young as five are verbally abused, causing a growing number of youngsters to quit sport.

Wales manager Chris Coleman said children "need to be supported and encouraged from the touchline".

Sport minister John Griffiths added his support by attending the Behind the Line, Behind the Team launch.

The FAW says an "increasing numbers of children are withdrawing from football because of the untoward behaviour of others".

It has produced a DVD featuring Chris Coleman, which will be sent to schools and clubs around Wales.

Start Quote

A lot of the time spectators will be shouting at the children, 'how can you have missed that?' and so on, and ridiculing them in front of their peers”

End Quote Football Association of Wales

An FAW spokeswoman said: "The main issues we have are with parents, or spectators in general, shouting abuse from the sidelines.

"A lot of the time spectators will be shouting at the children, 'how can you have missed that?' and so on, and ridiculing them in front of their peers, and making them not wanting to play sport.

"The main issue that we have come across is abuse being shouted at officials and players, as well as over-zealous supporters placing children under too much pressure to win."

'Just a game'

The spokeswoman said there had been reports of five-year-old children being shouted at, adding: "It's just a game at the end of the day."

Chris Coleman said: "Children of all ages - whatever their ability - need to enjoy football.

"They need to be supported and encouraged from the touchline.

"Being negative and critical all of the time is no good to anyone."

As well as a DVD, the FAW has created a "safeguarding kit bag" containing "codes of conduct and example policies to make it as easy as possible to create a safe environment for children to play football in".

It says the campaign "aims to tackle both on and off the pitch behaviour by promoting best practice through educating players, coaches and spectators".

Clubs will also be encouraged to use barriers "to create a dedicated supporter zone, and serve as a reminder not to overstep the boundaries, both physically and psychologically".

The campaign was launched at Ysgol Glantaf in Cardiff on Wednesday.


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  • rate this

    Comment number 101.

    The once great sport of soccer now a greed driven, profit obsessed business for feckless addicts is the catalyst for many anti social behaviours in Britain and in other countries too. This immature behaviour by puerile, immature parents defines the selfishness of many people in this country.

  • rate this

    Comment number 100.

    Its right to encourage kids on the field with friendly shouting of support but the line is crossed when it gets to cursing and physical threats just because of a bad tackle or someone doesnt like the refs decision.

    It is only a game which those with foul mouths should realise before shouting abuse at under 10s.

    Everywhere you go nowdays you have knuckle draggers gobs tripping unfortunately.

  • rate this

    Comment number 99.

    If only we could channel the same amount of energy and passion into something that actually mattered. Can't imaging similar scenes at a science show though. Shame, but imagine what could be achieved.

  • rate this

    Comment number 98.

    It starts with the BBC .....

    They employ so-called football "experts" to sit alongside commentators, who proceed to routinely criticise refereeing decisions (often factually incorrectly) even after video replays, spouting "No wonder he's upset with the referee" and making excuses for foul play

    Kids hear this.Parents hear this.And they take it to football with them.

    BBC - YOU are a ROOT Cause!

  • rate this

    Comment number 97.

    Why is there so much thuggish behaviour associated with football ?

    It's only a game, at the end of the day.

    A mere game.


Comments 5 of 101


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