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Affiliated to Essex County Football Association

Chelmsford Sunday League - Players and Officials Code of Conduct

General Principles

1. Play to Win
Winning is the object of playing any game. Never set out to lose. If you do not play to win you are cheating your opponents, deceiving those who are watching and also fooling yourself. Never give up against stronger opponents but never relent against weaker ones. It is an insult to any opponent to play at less than full strength. Play to win to the final whistle.

2. Plar Fair
Winning is without value if victory has been achieved unfairly or dishonestly. Cheating is easy, but brings no pleasure. Playing fair requires courage and character. It is also more satisfying. Fair Play always has its reward, even when the game is lost. Playing fair earns you respect, while cheats are detested. Remember: it is only a game and games are pointless unless played fairly.

3. Observe the Laws of the Game
All games need rules to guide them. Without rules, there would be chaos. The rules of football are simple and easy to learn. Make every effort to learn them, so you understand the game better. This makes you a better player. It is just as important to understand the spirit of the rules. They are designed to make the game more fun to play and fun to watch. By sticking to the rules, you will enjoy the game more.

4. Respect Opponents, Team mates, Referees, Officials and Spectators
Fair-Play means respect. Without opponents there can be no game. They have the same rights as you have, including the right to be respected. Your team mates are your colleagues. You form a team in which all members are equal. Referees are there to maintain discipline and Fair Play. Always accept their decisions without arguing, and help them to help you enjoy the game more. Officials are also part of the game and must be respected accordingly. Spectators give the game atmosphere. They want to see the game played fairly, but must also behave themselves.

5. Accept Defeat with Dignity
Nobody wins all the time. You win some, you lose some. Learn to lose graciously. Don't seek excuses for defeat. Genuine reasons will always be self-evident. Congratulate the winners with good grace. Don't blame the referee or anyone else. Determine to do better next time. Good losers earn more respect than bad winners.

6. Promote the Interests of Football
Football is the world's greatest game. But it always needs your help to keep it as Number One. Think of football's interest before your own. Think how your actions may affect the image of the game. Talk about the positive things in the game. Encourage other people to watch it or play it fairly. Help others to have as much fun from football as you do. Be an ambassador for the game.

7. Reject Corruption, Drugs, Racism, Violence or other Dangers to our Sport.
Football's huge popularity sometimes makes it vunerable to negative outside interests. Watch out for attempts to tempt you into cheating or using drugs. Drugs have no place in football or any other sport or in our society. Say No to Drugs. Help Kick Racism out of Football. Treat all players and everyone else equally, regardless of their skin colour or origin. Show that football does not want violence, even from your own fans. Football is Sport and Sport is Peace.

8. Help Others to Resist Corrupting Pressures.
You may hear that team mates or other people who know are being tempted to cheat in some way. They need your help. Don't hesitate to stand by them. Give them strength to resist. Remind them of their commitment to their team mates and to the game itself. Form a block of solidarity, like a solid defence on the field of play.

9. Denounce Those who Attempt to Discredit our Sport.
Don't be ashamed to show up anybody who you are sure is trying to make others cheat. It's better to expose them and have them removed before they can do any damage. It often takes more courage to denounce what is wrong, than go along with a dishonest plan. Your honesty will be admired but your complicity will not. Don't just say No. Denounce the culprits who are trying to spoil our sport before they can persuade somebody else to say Yes.

10. Honour Those who Defend Football's Good Reputation.
The good game of football has survived because the vast majority of people who love the game are honest and fair. Sometimes somebody does something exceptional that deserves our special recognition. They should be honoured and their fine example made public. This encourages others to act in the same way. Help promote football's image by publicising good deeds.

The FA’s Respect programme
The FA’s Respect programme provides a series of tools for leagues, clubs, coaches, referees, players and parents from grassroots to elite football to ensure a safe, positive environment in which to enjoy the game. These tools include agreed Codes of Conduct, which have been proven through research to be a significant deterrent to poor behaviour.
Codes of Conduct are already widely used in grassroots football and are mandatory for FA Charter Standard Clubs. Some Codes are successful, while some are forgotten and simply not acted upon. Respect brings them to life by supporting and strengthening the Codes of Conduct with possible consequences. There is little point in having a set of rules if no action is taken if and when they’re broken.

There are five Respect Codes of Conduct: Each Code explains that actions can be taken if the Code is broken. Although the County FA or The FA will deal with cases of reported misconduct, clubs and leagues also have a role to play in dealing with poor behaviour from players, officials or spectators. This can range from education, mentoring, official warnings, suspension or even exclusion from the club or league.
Respect works by placing responsibility on individuals for their actions: break your Code, and bear the consequences. Each Respect Code of Conduct explains that action can and will be taken if the Code is broken.