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Safeguarding in youth football

The FA seeks to do everything it can to support a safe and enjoyable framework for football.
© University of Birmingham
The FA seeks to do everything it can to support a safe and enjoyable framework for football.
This means, if standards ever fall short with poor practice or unacceptable behaviour, there’s a framework in place to make sure we can deal with it. By reporting a concern you can help us make sure that the youth game stays safe and strong.
In England, anyone who has a concern about the welfare of a child or the behaviour of an adult towards a child or young person under 18 years of age in football, is required to refer it to The FA Safeguarding team. The team is staffed by professionals who are experienced in dealing with these concerns.
Referring a concern can be done via your club, league or County FA – all will have a designated safeguarding officer (DSO). Alternatively, you can email us directly via

If you do not live in England, your country will have their own safeguarding policy and procedures. Do you know what they are?

If the matter is urgent and you cannot contact your club or County FA designated safeguarding officer, you can call The NSPCC 24-hour helpline on 0808 800 5000 – or if it is an emergency because a child or children are at immediate risk, then call the police or children’s social care in your area.
If you are concerned that someone may be behaving inappropriately or seeking to groom a child in an online environment, then please click here and you will be taken directly to the team at the National Crime Agency, as well as informing your County FA or The FA via
We want you to feel confident in football and to know that you or your young children will have fun and be safe.

Safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility. Non-action is not an option.

  • How do you ensure the safety of your players when you are coaching?
  • For further information on safeguarding, please visit the FA Safeguarding page.
  • In the UK, do you know what ChildLine do? Childline are a 24/7 helpline for children in the UK. Click here for Childline page.
  • If you live outside the UK how does your country ensure children can get help if they need it? Childline International works around the world to build helplines for children at risk of harm. Click here for their page
© University of Birmingham
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