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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Apr 13, 2008

FA chief Brooking planning 'respect priorities'

Sir Trevor Brooking insists football's governors must introduce 'enforceable' measures to tackle the current issue of respect within the game.

As the Football Association were preparing to launch their 'Respect' campaign last month, the issue of players' behaviour came under the spotlight due to incidents involving Chelsea defender Ashley Cole and Liverpool's Javier Mascherano.

The campaign, spearheaded by FA director of football development Brooking, has been piloted at grassroots level by seven county associations in the last 10 weeks, with the most significant measures allowing only team captains to speak to the referee and the introduction of roped-off areas for spectators and parents on the sidelines.

And the former England and West Ham midfielder, today attending an under-16s match between Kodak and Harrow St Mary's as part of the pilot, hopes firmer guidelines will be put into place in professional football next season.

Brooking told PA Sport: 'I think we're all pleased with the last 10 weeks. It's only been going across seven counties and as such it's not been launched, we've just been using the pilot schemes.

'The feedback at the moment is very good and everyone feels it is something that, to be honest, should have been looked at earlier.

'And with all the interest in it, we can launch it meaningfully for the start of next season.

'Between now and then we've got to decide on what sort of things we really prioritise and then have one or two sanctions because, like anything, if you have the regular bad performance and misbehaviour, then what are you going to do about them?

'They are going to be issues we have got to focus on to make sure whatever we decide to do is going to be enforceable.'

As for the recent publicity surrounding the issue of respect, Brooking said: 'What happened, of course, once we launched it and said we were looking at that, we had a couple of incidents with Ashley Cole and Javier Mascherano so everyone homed in on it.'

Cole was seen on television ignoring referee Mike Riley while days later Mascherano was shown a second yellow card and subsequent red for persistent dissent against Manchester United.

'We launched the fact we were doing a pilot scheme and then had that little flurry,' Brooking said.

'It was amazing really that we had those two incidents that everyone focused on from a national media point of view.

'From our point of view that was great, because it highlighted all the issues and the reaction was 'something needs to be done'.

'So what happens now is there will be some meetings between the main football stakeholders - the Football Association, the Premier League, Football League, Professional Game Match Officials Board, League Managers' Association and the Professional Footballers' Association.

'They are all going to meet this month and then hopefully move it on to more meetings between now and the start of next season to decide how they want to buy in to it, what are their own standards they want to set?'

However, Brooking warned: 'They have got to look at that really closely because with the media following, they can't really get themselves into something that after two or three weeks disintegrates.

'So that will be quite an interesting debate over the next two, three or four months before the start of next season.'

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