Isle of Man FA Respect Campaign

New Respect campaign launched

'It's Everyone's Game' is aimed at players, spectators, coaches and officials involved in the junior game.

The Isle of Man Football Association has launched its new Respect campaign aimed at junior football: It’s Everyone’s Game.

This season, the association has received more reported incidents, which it says highlighted the need to formulate a targeted plan of action; to be launched at the end of the current season and continue into next.

IOMFA Discipline Officer, David O’Flanagan, who is leading the campaign, says the facts have formed the key themes: ‘The Respect campaign isn’t new, but our approach will be specific to the Isle of Man Junior Football League. We are asking players, coaches, parents and spectators to get behind our action plan, which will be rolled out in April, starting on Friday 12th. We have produced leaflets, which are being distributed to coaches to give to players, and there will lots of social media coverage in the coming weeks.’ 

The theme of the first weekend (12/14th April) will be RESPECT THE SPACE. For just this week, only players and officials will be allowed inside the regional and 3G playing arenas.

David continues: ‘We want to create a space for players to play their games with more freedom, so they can communicate clearly with each other, hear what their coach is saying and, most importantly – make their own decisions on the pitch without lots of conflicting instructions in their ears. Obviously, we would still encourage lots of cheering and support from outside the barrier.’

Respect marshals will be on hand at venues to direct spectators as to where to stand. At Ramsey, Peel, Castle Rushen and Colby, this will be outside the fence. At The Bowl this will be behind the perimeter barrier, and at the NSC blue pitch this will be behind the barrier that runs down the side of pitch.

‘We are aware this might not be a popular measure, but it is quite common for spectators to watch junior football from outside the arenas, both across the UK and elsewhere in the world’, adds David. ‘However, as the campaign name suggests, “It’s everyone’s game” and we want everyone to be able to enjoy their role in the game, be it playing, officiating, coaching, or spectating, but also to respect everyone else’s roles.’ 

The following weekend – 19th – 21st April – the theme is FLAG OF FRIENDSHIP and coaches and players will be asked to sign the flag and pass it on to the opposition to sign as well.

The final weekend – 26th – 28th April – is APPRECIATION WEEKEND. Before the fixtures, spectators will be asked to show their appreciate for the players, coaches and officials, by applause. After the games, the players, coaches and officials will return the gesture and applaud the spectators.

The Isle of Man FA Respect Campaign is being supported by IQEQ Isle of Man. IQEQ is a leading investor services group, which employs more than 5,500 people across 25 jurisdictions. The Isle of Man business focuses on Private and Institutional Asset Owners. 

Managing Director, Simon Scott says: ‘We are delighted to be supporting the Respect campaign, which has been devised for the purpose of improving the experiences of junior players, coaches, and spectators at matches. Respect is such an important part of the game for everyone and is something we should all recognise and embrace.’

FC Isle of Man and Corinthians AFC player Sean Doyle is the Campaign Ambassador and he will be involved during one of the weekends. Sean says: ‘For me, every time I step on the pitch, Respect is something I try to demonstrate in all aspects of my game – as it’s appreciation for the sport that we all are involved in and adore.’