Did you know that 7-8th April is ReFspect Awareness Weekend?
Organised by Don't X The Line, the ReFspect Awareness Weekend is part of a campaign aimed at eliminating poor behaviour in grassroots football and is supported by The FA, The Premier League and The Football League.
Don't X The Line was founded in 2003 by Malcolm Lee, who has been involved in the grassroots game in Merseyside for over 30 years. Having seen many examples of inappropriate conduct at games down the years, he decided it was time to do something to improve matters, saying:
"I have witnessed children crying because their parents are involved in fighting with the opponent parents, referees abandoning games and walking away from them never to return to the game because of threats and abusive comments directed towards them".
"Campaigns like Don't X The Line must be be supported by the decent people who support the sport for all the right reasons. Together we must protect our children and referees, and bring the sportsmanship, ReFspect and fair play into grassroots football".
So if you are at a game this weekend, remember to do your bit and show ReFspect for the officials. You can do this both by helping ensure it is played in a safe, fun and friendly environment, as well as actually taking the time to thank the referees at the end of the game.
Supporting the initiative, Hertfordshire FA Referee Development Officer Phil Sharp said:
"I urge everyone to get behind this campaign. We should all remember that referees are people who love football, giving up their time so that others have the opportunity to play. Without them we wouldn’t have a game, so it's important to show them your appreciation".
To find out more about the campaign visit the Don't X The Line website.