Specators at a Youth Football Match

Reporting Poor Behaviour

We encourage you to report incidents so that we can take appropriate action

Help us to make Hertfordshire a better place to play football

We are constantly working to ensure football in Hertfordshire offers a safe, fun and inclusive environment for everyone to enjoy the game, however to do this we need your support. Put simply if we don’t know about it, we can’t deal with it.

We encourage any of our club or its members to report any poor behaviour they have witnessed during or after a football match so that we can take appropriate action, with Hertfordshire FA working in partnership with Sports Integrity Matters to investigate these incidents.

Should they wish to pursue the allegations then we would require full witness statements using our Report Form which can then be used as the basis for an investigation into the incident.

Please be aware that before any charges are raised, we also require confirmation that any witnesses who have submitted statements would be prepared to attend a disciplinary commission in support of their statement, should the alleged offender request a personal hearing. Should charges be issued, the statements will be provided to the alleged offender, and club, for their reference and review.


See below for further information on how to report and what will happen next

What Information Should I Provide?

The more detail we have the better chance there is of building a case against the alleged offenders. Ensure your statement is based on factual information about what happened – not just opinions.

Below are some tips on what should be included in a witness statement:

  • Exactly what comments or behaviour did you witness? (a word for word account of any language is best and should be placed in direct speech marks “…”)
  • Did you witness the incident first hand, or was this reported to you (if so, by whom)?
  • If the matter was reported to you, please confirm who reported it to you, when, where and what you were told.
  • Please estimate your distance from the alleged offender(s) on each occasion?
  • Did you have a clear an unobstructed view of the alleged offender at the time of the incident?
  • What were the conditions like during the match (e.g. windy, rainy, fine, poor visibility)?
  • Was anything done at the time as a result of this? If so, what action was taken?
  • Can you provide a description of the alleged offender(s) (e.g. name, hair colour, skin colour, height, build, shirt number, tattoos, field position, other distinguishing features)?
  • What was the reaction of the person subjected to the abuse or poor behaviour during and after the incident (e.g. sad, angry, indifferent, no expression?)
  • How was this displayed? (Was the person crying, had their arms raised, were they red faced, shouting, with balled up fists?
  • Did the incident affect the participants performance – if so how?
  • Is there anything else you would like to let us know about this matter? (e.g. any history between the parties)

What Will Happen as a Result of My Report?

Our partners Sports Integrity Matters (SIM) will investigate the incident you have reported and will liaise with you on behalf of Hertfordshire FA.

Should charges be issued, you will be notified and the statements will be provided to the alleged offender, and club, for their reference and review. Any witnesses who have submitted statements would need to be prepared to attend a disciplinary commission in support of their statement, should the alleged offender request a personal hearing.

You should be aware that not all reports we receive will necessarily result in formal disciplinary action. However, by submitting a report it ensures that behaviour at the club can be properly monitored by us. We keep a record of incidents and where we see a problem developing we will work with clubs to help improve behaviour and prevent further issues.

If a club and/or participant is reported to us it enables us to take a number of actions, whether they are charged or not:

  • Monitor club to ensure their behaviour improves
  • Ensure that clubs receive appropriate sanctions through the discipline process
  • Send a County or League observer to watch problem teams
  • Ensure clubs are using the Codes of Conduct appropriately and issuing sanctions
  • Use England Football Accreditation as a tool to improve behaviour
  • Remove England Football Accreditation if behaviour does not improve
  • Refuse England Football Accreditation or delay approval for clubs with a poor discipline record
  • Refer individuals to the FA

What About Sharing Positive Experiences?

While we need to hear about when things may have not met expected standards so we can try to ensure it doesn't happen again, it's also important that we celebrate where things are done well.

If you have had a particularly positive experience then be sure to tell us about it by emailing contactus@hertfordshirefa.com so we can identify best practice and share this with clubs across the county.