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Respect Campaign

Uniting against the ugly side of soccer

What is Respect?

Respect is the collective responsibility of everyone in soccer to create a fair, safe and

enjoyable environment in which the game can take place. It is the behavioral code for


Respect is The US Referee Connection program to address unacceptable behavior in

soccer– on and off the pitch. Respect is a continuous program, not a one-off initiative.

On average, thousands of referees quit soccer every year because of the abuse they

receive from players and from the sidelines.

Lots of children also quit soccer because of the attitude and actions of over-enthusiastic

and pushy parents.

In response, The USRC Respect program provides a series of tools for leagues, clubs,

coaches, Referees, players and parents from grassroots to elite soccer to ensure a safe,

positive environment in which to enjoy the game.

These tools include agreed codes of conduct, in-service training for Referees, Respect club package, designated spectator areas and ensuring captains work with referees to manage player behavior.

The USRC has also launched a free online Respect Parent Guide to highlight examples of

poor behavior and, more importantly, how it can be improved.


What do we want to achieve with Respect?

​1. There will be a ‘step change‘ in youth soccer on what is acceptable and unacceptable behavior from parents, spectators and coaches.

2. We will work with coaches to create an enjoyable learning environment for children’'s soccer

3. There will be a base of registered referees in USA sufficient for the demands of the game at every level.

4. There will be zero tolerance for assaults on referees.

5. There will be an improvement in on-field player discipline, particularly in the area of dissent to referees and in competitions that have an established record of poor discipline.

The most important message of the Respect Program is that real and lasting change will come about not through the intervention of the

Soccer Authorities but from everyone in soccer taking collective responsibility to promote what is good in the game and deal with that which diminishes it.

Learn more about Respect

Download Educational Material


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