Social Networking – Conduct

The Leicestershire and Rutland County FA has seen an increase in the number of complaints and referrals it has received in relation to postings on sites such as Twitter, Facebook and messaging facilities such as SMS, BlackBerry Messenger and Facebook Messenger.

You will appreciate that this is of concern to The Association and we would like to remind all participants of the following key points.

  • All comments on social networking sites may be considered public comment by The Association
  • Any comments which are improper, bring the game into disrepute or are threatening, abusive, indecent or insulting may lead to disciplinary action
  • Comments about match officials which imply bias, attack the officials' integrity or are overly personal in nature are considered improper
  • Comments which include a reference to a person's ethnic origin, colour, race, nationality, faith, gender, sexual orientation or disability may be considered aggravated and attract a higher disciplinary sanction
  • Re-tweeting another person's post may lead to disciplinary action if the original comment was improper
  • Deleting or apologising publicly for an improper posting, whilst advisable, does not prevent disciplinary action being taken
  • An individual is strictly responsible for any posting on his/her account. Participants should take every care to ensure that others do not access their account, as the fact that a posting or comment may have been made by a third party will not prevent disciplinary action being taken against the account holder
  • The Association can take action against any posting(s) that a participant makes even if this has no reference to a footballing matter

Participants are required to act in the best interest of the game at all times (see FA Rule E3(1)) and should be aware that their postings on social networking sites are likely to be subject to public and media scrutiny.

Whilst we are conscious that the use of social networking sites can be positive we must advise that Participants exercise caution with the content of any postings.

FA Rule E3(1):

GENERAL BEHAVIOUR

3 (1) 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 or use any one, or a combination of, violent conduct, serious foul play, threatening, abusive, indecent or insulting words or behaviour.

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