RESPECT featuring Hollywood's Winstone

HOLLYWOOD film star, Ray Winstone, features in a brand new film that promotes The Football Association's new online Respect Parent Guide which aims to improve behaviour at youth football matches in Essex and across the Country.

HOLLYWOOD film star, Ray Winstone, features in a brand new film that promotes The Football Association's new online Respect Parent Guide which aims to improve behaviour at youth football matches in Essex and across the Country.

Both the Respect Parent Guide, which features Sir Trevor Brooking, Stuart Pearce and Robbie Earle, and the Ray Winstone film can be viewed on TheFA.com from 16th March. The film sees Winstone play two roles - an overbearing father who shouts abuse from the touchline and a “Godfather” style character who is watching the game from afar and calls for people to use their common sense at youth football.

Winstone believes that parents need to lose the “win at all costs” attitude and bring some enjoyment back to the game, claiming: “Kids want their parents to watch them play football but they want to be supported by them, not embarrassed. You've got all these adults screaming and shouting on the touchline but seven and eight-year-olds aren't interested in tactics. They just want to play the game, be their hero for the day and dream of scoring a goal at Wembley Stadium.”

The Respect Parent Guide gives viewers an opportunity to watch several grassroots football scenarios, work through a series of modules and certificate themselves at the end. The FA Respect programme has already had a major breakthrough in the grassroots game, with dissent figures showing an 8% improvement nationwide on last season's totals, while 567 leagues have shown their support by becoming Respect Leagues.

Two years ago, an FA consultation survey of 37,000 individuals involved in grassroots football showed that 98% of referees had been verbally abused from the touchlines while 5,000 match officials quit the game last season, with spectator abuse cited as the main reason for dropping out. With one in three matches across the country taking place without a qualified match official, The FA is aiming to recruit 8,000 new referees by 2012.

The Respect programme aims to deal with the behaviour of a minority of spectators, with youth football thriving and 60,000 teams playing each week. Other FA plans to improve pitchside behaviour include teaming-up with the Football Foundation to provide grants for Respect Barriers which ensure spectators are standing well away from the touchline at youth games. 20 leagues have already signed-up to Respect in Essex alone.

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You can absorb both the Ray Winstone film and The FA Respect Parent Guide by logging onto www.TheFA.com/Respect.

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