FA to tackle lack of Respect for campaign

The Football Association will meet with the League Managers Association (LMA) in an attempt to promote its Respect campaign, which has been undermined in recent weeks by managers.

While the FA look at four separate issues within the Respect programme – referee recruitment and retention, participation in youth football, coaching and player development, and safeguarding children – managers and the media have inevitably honed in on refereeing.

In recent weeks Roy Keane and Alan Pardew have criticised the Respect campaign after being on the wrong end of decisions. Joe Kinnear, meanwhile, labelled Martin Atkinson a "Micky Mouse referee" following the Magpie’s 2-1 defeat to Fulham at Craven Cottage.

"It has been disappointing to witness various incidents of managers publicly criticising referees recently," said FA director of governance Jonathan Hall.

"The FA will seek to meet with the LMA and individual managers regarding the Respect programme as soon as possible and offer them a further opportunity to raise any concerns."

Howard Wilkinson, chairman of the LMA, agreed that the organisations needed to work together saying: "Managers are extremely keen to work in partnership with the referees’ body, The FA and other stakeholders to advance the game in several key areas including continuing to raise the standard of refereeing."

The FA’s attempt to tackle the stream of referees leaving the game at grassroots level does not appear to have hit home with managers, with many believing any refereeing mistake exempts them from having to show respect to anyone.