FSA takes action to help protect young officials

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FSA takes action to help protect young officials

Football South Australia has introduced groundbreaking initiative to enhance the safety and respect for young referees.

The league has issued bright orange armbands for all match officials under the age of 18 in a bid to create a more supportive and respectful environment for young referees.

“At Football South Australia, we are fiercely committed to creating a safe, respectful, and supportive environment for all our participants,” an FSA spokesperson said. 

“This commitment goes beyond words; it involves taking tangible actions to protect those who are vulnerable among us.

“This season, we are introducing bright orange armbands for referees under the age of 18, prominently branded with the FSA values of Passion, Unity, and Respect. 

“These armbands serve as a visible reminder to players, coaches, parents, and spectators these referees are minors and deserve special consideration.”

The spokesperson said the purpose of the initiative was visible identification, protection and respect.

“The bright orange armbands will identify our young match officials, signalling to everyone these referees are minors,” the spokesperson said.

“The armbands emphasise that our under-18 officials are protected by Football South Australia’s Safeguarding Policy and deserve the utmost respect and consideration.

“They reinforce our commitment to the welfare and protection of young referees, serving as a deterrent to potential abuse or intimidation and creating a safer environment for officiating.”

The spokesperson said the armbands would promote a culture of respect and increased referred retention.

“The armbands encourage all participants to treat young officials with the respect and patience they deserve. They serve as a continuous reminder of the need for civil and courteous conduct towards under-18 officials, setting a high standard for behaviour and cultivating a more respectful and considerate football community,” the spokesperson said.

“Knowing they are visibly supported by a protective policy boosts the confidence of young referees, encouraging them to continue officiating. 

“This leads to increased retention of match officials, ensuring greater coverage of games and improving match quality with more experienced and confident referees available to officiate.

“We encourage all members of our football community to support this initiative and help us create a positive and respectful environment for our young match officials. Think about the difference it would make if everyone treated young referees as if they were their own children. 

“Together, we can make a profound impact and ensure that our football matches are safe and enjoyable for everyone involved.

“Respect starts here, with each one of us doing our part. There is no game without our referees. Let’s protect them, respect them, and support them. Because, truly, what if it was your child out there?”

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