What is Bullying?
Bullying is the use of aggression with the intention
of hurting another person. Bullying results in pain
and distress to the victim.
Bullying can be:
• Emotional being unfriendly, excluding (emotionally
and physically), sending hurtful text messages and
tormenting, (e.g. hiding football boots/shin guards,
• Physical pushing, kicking, hitting, punching or any
use of violence
• Racist racial taunts, graffiti, gestures
• Sexual unwanted physical contact or sexually
• Homophobic because of, or focussing on the
issue of sexuality
• Verbal name-calling, sarcasm, spreading
Why is it Important to Respond to Bullying?
Bullying hurts. No one deserves to be a victim of bullying.
Everybody has the right to be treated with respect.
Individuals who are bullying need to learn different ways
This club has a responsibility to respond promptly
and effectively to issues of bullying.
Objectives of this Policy
• All club members, coaches, officials and parents
should have an understanding of what bullying is
• All club members, officials and coaching staff should
know what the club policy is on bullying, and follow
it when bullying is reported
• All players and parents should know what the club
policy is on bullying, and what they should do if
• As a club we take bullying seriously. Players and
parents should be assured that they would be
supported when bullying is reported
• Bullying will not be tolerated
Signs and Indicators
A child may indicate by signs or behaviour that he or
she is being bullied. Adults should be aware of these
possible signs and that they should investigate if a child:
• says he or she is being bullied
• is unwilling to go to club sessions
• becomes withdrawn anxious, or lacking in confidence
• feels ill before training sessions
• comes home with clothes torn or training
• has possessions go “missing”
• asks for money or starts stealing money
(to pay the bully)
• has unexplained cuts or bruises
• is frightened to say what’s wrong
• gives improbable excuses for any of the above
In more extreme cases
• starts stammering
• cries themselves to sleep at night or has nightmares
• becomes aggressive, disruptive or unreasonable
• is bullying other children or siblings
• stops eating
• attempts or threatens suicide or runs away
These signs and behaviours may indicate other problems,
but bullying should be considered a possibility and
should be investigated.
Anti-Bullying Policy for Football Clubs
Let’s make football safe – not sorry
Statement of Intent
We are committed to providing a caring, friendly and
safe environment for all of our members so they can
participate in football in a relaxed and secure atmosphere.
Bullying of any kind is unacceptable at our club.
If bullying does occur, all club members or parents
should be able to tell and know that incidents will be
dealt with promptly and effectively. We are a TELLING
club. This means that anyone who knows that bullying
is happening is expected to tell the club welfare officer
or any committee member.
TheFA.com/Footballsafe Let’s make football safe – not sorry
Anti-Bullying Policy for Football Clubs
1. Report bullying incidents to the Club Welfare Officer
or a member of the clubs committee or contact the
County FA Welfare Officer.
2. In cases of serious bullying, the incidents will be
referred to the County FA Welfare Officer for advice
and possibly to The FA Case Management Team.
3. Parents should be informed and will be asked to
come in to a meeting to discuss the problem.
4. If necessary and appropriate, the police will
5. The bullying behaviour or threats of bullying must
be investigated and the bullying stopped quickly
6. An attempt will be made to help the bully (bullies)
change their behaviour.
7. If mediation fails and the bullying is seen to continue
the club will initiate disciplinary action under the
Recommended club action
If the club decides it is appropriate for them to deal
with the situation they should follow the procedure
1. Reconciliation by getting the parties together.
It may be that a genuine apology solves the problem.
2. If this fails/not appropriate a small panel (made
up from Chairman, Club Welfare Officer, Secretary,
committee members) should meet with the parent
and child alleging bullying to get details of the
allegation. Minutes should be taken for clarity,
which should be agreed by all as a true account.
3. The same 3 persons should meet with the alleged
bully and parent/s and put the incident raised to
them to answer and give their view of the allegation.
Minutes should again be taken and agreed.
4. If bullying has in their view taken place the individual
should be warned and put on notice of further action
i.e. temporary or permanent suspension if the bullying
continues. Consideration should be given as to whether
a reconciliation meeting between parties is appropriate
at this time.
5. In some cases the parent of the bully or bullied player
can be asked to attend training sessions, if they are
able to do so, and if appropriate. The club committee
should monitor the situation for a given period to
ensure the bullying is not being repeated.
6. All coaches involved with both individuals should
be made aware of the concerns and outcome of the
process i.e. the warning.
In the Case of Adults Reported to be Bullying Anyone
Within the Club Under 18:
1. The County FA Welfare Officer should always be
informed and will advise on action to be taken where
2. It is anticipated that in most cases where the allegation
is made regarding a team manager, official or coach,
The FA’s Safeguarding Children Education Programme
may be recommended.
3. More serious cases may be referred to the Police
and/or Children’s Services.
1. The club will have a written constitution, which includes
what is acceptable and proper behaviour for all
members of which the anti-bullying policy is one part.
2. All club members and parents will sign to accept the
constitution upon joining the club.
3. The Club Welfare Officer will raise awareness about
bullying and why it matters, and if issues of bullying
arise in the club, will consider meeting with members
to discuss the issue openly and constructively.
This policy is based on guidance provided to schools
by KIDSCAPE. KIDSCAPE is a voluntary organisation
committed to help prevent child bullying. KIDSCAPE
can be contacted on 0207 730 3300 or you can access
their website via www.kidscape.org.uk.
You may also wish to access any of the following websites
designed to give advice and guidance to parents and
children who are faced with dealing with bullying:
We would like to thank the Amateur Swimming
Association who have shared their Anti-Bullying Policy for
Clubs on which this recommended FA Club Anti-Bullying
Policy has been developed.