EBFA Policy - Code of
Conduct - Match Officials
Code of Conduct -
Match Officials - Referees, Assistant
Referees, Fourth Officials and Substitute Referees
Laws of the Game the decisions of a referee on points of fact
connected with the play are final as far as the result of the
game is concerned. A referee also has wide-ranging powers
defined in Law 5.
of such power requires a high level of ethics from referees and
assistant referees (referred to in this Code together as
In addition to
the quality of refereeing, the behaviour of the referee has an
impact, either directly or indirectly, on the conduct of all
others involved in the game. Respect for referees and their
decisions is a fundamental part of the game. A Code of Conduct
for Match Officials is a proper response to those expectations.
While the Code
focuses primarily on referees involved in top-class football,
with few exceptions the basic ideas are valid for match
officials at all levels, be they on the National List, or
registered with County Football Associations and only involved
in local football.
These Codes are
applicable to match officials at all levels of the game.
Obligations towards the game
The referee has
a duty to the game in its widest sense.
One of those
duties is to help the game to keep moving, compatible with fair
play, and to seek to ensure it is attractive and is not subject
to unnecessary halts.
every effort to prepare fully for a match, both physically
and mentally. On a physical level, a referee must be able to
keep up with the speed of the modern game, and be alert and
close enough to take correct decisions from credible
locations on the field of play.
Not to be afraid to take decisions. A referee should be
fair and firm and must resist any possible influence from
protests on the part of players, team officials or
Show respect towards players and team officials.
and completely impartial at all times, irrespective of the
teams, players or team officials involved in the match.
Decline to be appointed to a match if not completely
physically or mentally fit to referee that match (because of
illness, injury, or for family or other reasons).
Inform The Football Association and/or County
Association and/or league or competition directly
responsible if unable to referee a team or teams for any
Refrain from requesting hospitality of any kind, or
accept any hospitality offered and considered to be
Always have regard to the best interest of the game,
including where publicly expressing an opinion on the game
or any particular aspect of it, including others involved in
Not tolerate inappropriate language from players and/or
Obligations towards the Players
of a referee must be used with wise judgement and care.
Authority and a firm approach must be combined with respect.
A referee should have regard to
protecting the players.
A referee should show due
respect when speaking with the players, even in the event of
In reports, a referee should
set out the true facts and not attempt to justify any
towards fellow Referees, Assistant Referees, Fourth Officials
and Substitute Referees
is necessary for the referee's authority to be protected, not
only for the sake of the game, but also in the interest of
fellow referees, assistant referees, fourth officials and
substitute referees. This protection should, however, not
influence the over-riding regard for protection of the players.
A referee should refrain
from publicly expressing any criticism of fellow referees,
assistant referees or other match officials.
A referee should assist with
the development of less experienced referees and assistant
An assistant referee should
give his total support to the referee, but without undue
interference or insistence.