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Discipline and Further Considerations




  • Suspensions in schools’ football are now MATCH BASED and within the category of schools’ football in which the offence occurred (school, district, county or international).


  • In some areas and schools there may be a long time lapse between competition games. If 6 months elapse before the required number of matches from which a player is suspended, the suspension will be deemed to have finished (the 6 month period does not include June, July and August).


  • Serious misconduct offences (eg foul, abusive or racist language following a red card) can carry a ‘time based’ suspension and will apply to all football (Youth and School) and therefore be reciprocal in nature with local County FA’s. County FA’s will inform the ESFA in these instances (or vice versa) and details will be disseminated to the appropriate association/school and club/s.


  • The MCSFA (and thereby its member associations and schools) has agreed for the ESFA to administer centrally all reported cases of indiscipline. This should save time and help create a more equitable punishment system.


  • The ESFA has agreed to adopt the FA’s new discipline system, called the Whole Game System, when it has been successfully trialled and implemented in FA counties. Details of this will be published when finalised.


  • The administration fees will be retained by the ESFA but fines collected will be paid back to the MCSFA (or its member associations/schools) at the end of the season.


  • ALL referee reports in schools’ football (for cautions and dismissals) should be sent to: Discipline Department, c/o English Schools’ FA, 4 Parker Court, Staffordshire Technology Park, Stafford, ST18 0WP (tel 01785 785970, fax 01785 256246, or


  • Referees are also requested to send a copy of any report to the MCSFA Honorary Secretary for information.


  • The FA Discipline Handbook is published on all County FA websites. 





  • Schools still have a statutory right to impose their own disciplinary measures on any player cautioned or sent off whilst representing their school.
    • However, any such action cannot negate the existing ESFA/FA discipline procedures.
    • There is an appeal procedure built into the process.
    • Administration costs and fines are now managed centrally by the ESFA.
  •  The MCSFA recommends that, wherever feasible, parents/spectators watch games from the opposite side-line to players and staff. The use of rope, tape, cones, markers, notices can help to prevent encroachment.
    • No parents/spectators should be standing behind a goal or goal-line.
    • Overly aggressive shouting and attitudes by anyone on a line should be discouraged.
    • Bad language and verbal abuse of any kind should not be tolerated.
    • Playing matches in a poor atmosphere can easily become a safeguarding issue.
  • At the start of each season it is advisable for schools/associations to make all players, staff i/c f teams and parents fully aware of what is expected of them with regard to upholding excellent standards of behaviour.

A Code of Conduct signed by all is a very good way of doing this.

  • The ultimate responsibility for excellent all round standards lies with any Association/school.
  • RESPECT for everyone involved – especially referees - should be the order of the day