County offer reminder on social media

11:00 21 February 2014

Tempers flared during the second half of Romford's Ryman Division One North clash with Aveley (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO)

Tempers flared during the second half of Romford's Ryman Division One North clash with Aveley (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO)

Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO c/o 27 Plaiters Way, Braintree, Essex, CM7 3LR - Editorial Use ONLY - FA Premier League and Football League images are subject to DataCo Licencing restrictions

Latest news from the Essex FA

A recent case of threatening behaviour towards a local rival club on social media, culminating in a sanction being applied to an individual player, has prompted the Essex FA to remind participants that they have a responsibility to behave in an appropriate manner relating to football at all times.

FA regulations decree that all participants are required to act in the sport’s best interests at all times, and they should be aware that their postings on networking sites are likely to be subject to public scrutiny.

The FA recognises the use of websites such as Twitter and Facebook can be positive, but they ask that caution is exercised with the content of postings.

All comments on these networking sites may be considered public, and anything deemed improper which brings the game into disrepute could lead to disciplinary action. It is the responsibility of all football to reduce and eradicate threatening, abusive, indecent or insulting behaviour, and the interactive environment is no different.

“As a general rule, someone’s conduct online is an extension of what they do on the field of play,” said governance manager Greg Hart.

“If a player was walking down the street, and they recognised a player from another team and used threatening behaviour, the matter can be investigated if reported to the county FA.

“Incidents considered excessively threatening should be reported to the police, who have powers to take further action than football can.

“Unfortunately, the recent case of a player being punished is not an isolated occurrence. The use of social media is increasing, so this area of governance will also increase.

“The majority of people using social media do so appropriately. However, as we have again seen recently in high-profile cases, there is a minority who use it inappropriately. I’d urge anyone to maintain common sense and courtesy when using these services.”

Comments about match officials which imply bias and/or attack officials’ integrity in an overly personal nature are considered improper. Remarks which include a reference to a person’s ethnic origin, colour, race, nationality, faith, gender, sexual orientation or disability would be considered an aggravating factor, and could attract a higher disciplinary sanction.

The county FA become aware of discrepancies by various means. Some are reported to the county office while others can be picked up by everyday browsing.

In the last year in Essex, around ten charges have been raised for the inappropriate use of social networking. High profile cases have been raised by The FA, so people are aware of the potential consequences.

Charges are raised as a ‘Breach of FA Rule E3 - Improper Conduct’ - in just the same way that they would be during a game.

It states: “A participant shall at all times act in the best interests of the game and shall not act in any manner which is improper or brings the game into disrepute.”

A participant is defined by The FA as “a competition, club, club official, player, match official, management committee member or member or employee of an affiliated club.”

As a result, if social networking content indicates offensive, insulting, abusive or threatening behaviour from one football participant to another, then the Essex FA can take action.

Charges which have been raised include threats to attempt to injure an opponent during a game, threats to attack someone as a result of game and general offensive comments directed towards opponents, either in a particular fixture or in a division.

Hart added: “My advice is to not always respond to comments immediately. If you see something which appears contentious, take some time away before responding - that’s if it’s appropriate to respond at all.

“What anyone should be thinking when using social media is “would my family be happy with me saying that?” If you start questioning your posting, then it is possibly not appropriate.”

The FA have recognised the need for guidance on the topic and a document called ‘Tackling Social Media’ was published in 2012 following a noticeable increase in the volume of complaints and referrals received.

A wealth of information and resources can be accessed for free as part of The FA’s ‘What’s Your Pitch’ microsite at


Latest Romford Sports News

Yesterday, 19:00
Tom Wilson in action for Old Loughts against former club Havering, a month before his tragic death (pic: TGS Photo)

Family receive Order of St John Gift of Life award

Yesterday, 18:39
Christian Assombalonga celebrates a goal for Dagenham & Redbridge (pic: David Simpson/TGS Photo)

Daggers make two additions ahead of hosting Macclesfield Town, but all strike to leave temporarily

Yesterday, 17:00
Tyrique Hyde in action for the Dagenham & Redbridge youth team during their FA Youth Cup clash at Braintree Town (pic: David Simpson/TGS Photo)

Daggers youngster wants to emulate successful career of former Watford and Jamaica midfielder

Yesterday, 16:00
Leon McKenzie of Hornchurch has scored six times this season in all competitions (pic: David Simpson/TGS Photo)

Urchins host Great Wakering Rovers this weekend before a trip to Enfield Town on Tuesday night

Yesterday, 15:00
Paul Martin of Romford (pic: George Phillipou/TGS Photo)

Boro boss knows striker will put away most opportunities

Yesterday, 14:00
Old Cooperians suffered their first league defeat in over a year at Diss

Coops hoping to respond after seeing 21-game winning run end last time out

Yesterday, 12:00
Dagenham & Redbridge pair Oliver Hawkins and Jordan Maguire-Drew (pic: David Simpson/TGS Photo)

Daggers striker and assistant talk up forward options ahead of visit from Silkmen

West Ham United's Andy Carroll.

Still no sign of Carroll and Sakho for West Ham

Newsletter Sign Up

Most read sport


Show Job Lists

News from your area


Click on the banner above for full coverage of the centenary commemorations of the outbreak of the First World War.


£3,000 goes a long way at Boots

Cosmetics, toiletries, vitamins and more. Boots is the number one choice when it comes to purchasing daily essentials.

Kit yourself out and go Apple mad!

If you’re obsessed with Apple or just love a good gadget, this is a prize that will blow you away! An incredible £3,333 to spend on Apple goodies! How would you like to be the proud new owner of the Apple Watch?

Digital Edition


Enjoy the
Romford Recorder
e-edition today


Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now