Aretha Franklin may not have been a football fan (in fact we’re pretty sure she wasn’t), but her famous song ‘Respect’ conveys a message that is relevant in the modern game.
Respect is a small word, but one that frequently becomes a forgotten one in the English game, with fans and players often treating others in a manner not befitting the game of the people.
That is why the FA are trying to ensure that such behaviour is stamped out of the sport in our country and make the game more enjoyable for everyone.
Technology is now a big part of football, with goal line cameras in place to prevent another Frank Lampard 2010 ‘did it?’ ‘didn’t it?’ moment. This video from the FA may be taking the premise a little too far by employing a robot to deal with common footballing problems such as angry players, abusive managers and feisty parents, but it coveys a simple message. Respect.
The Respect campaign was initiated in 2008, and has had a major impact so far. Since it’s beginning assaults of referees have dropped significantly, 5,000 new match officials have been recruited and the game has become more pleasant for young children, spectators and those in charge.
Dermot Collins, the FA’s Respect Manager, said: “The application of technology is an on going discussion in Football. This film takes a light hearted look at how it can be applied to improving behaviour in the Grassroots Game but ultimately the solution is in our own hands. We all have a part to play.”
After all, football at youth level is about enjoyment. A will to win is of course important in any sport, but remembering the core values of the game we all love is key. Would you respond to a barrage of abuse at work? Probably not, so why should youngsters be put in such a position?
Likewise with players on the field of play. The red mist can descend, but it’s important to remember to control the situation and keep the spectacle one that everybody can enjoy.
As said before, technology is becoming a part of football, so check out the FA’s wacky robot and take in its message.
For more information about the Respect programme visit www.TheFA.com/Respect