Protecting children in football - let's take action now!
Following our efforts to engage with the FA in relation to the protection of children in our national game (read more here), we have this week released the attached document entitled 'the protection of children in football'.
We are asking for an urgent investigation in to our youth game which has been commercialised and commodified. Children’s football is now too often confused with the expectations of the adult, or even the professional game, with training from toddler ages, adult objectives and agendas, and the trialling and selection at ever younger ages based on no evidence of benefit.
Children are talked at, or talked about as players in an adult game, but they have generally lost any genuine sense of ownership of their own game. Instead, play has been replaced by adult structure. Add to this commercialisation which inevitably introduces economic inequality into the process.
Without clear protections for the rights of children, and their right to be treated as children, this leaves them exposed to potential harm or even exploitation.
We think that action should be taken to protect children and their right to play. We believe there is no justification for delay.
We have spoken to leading figures who agree and some have put their name to this document. It has already been shared with some senior political figures.
We invite you to read our statement and approach your own MP and/or Parliamentary candidates with a copy of it.
Why not email them, ask them to read the document and commit to undertaking their own investigations should they be returned to the House of Commons? You can identify your MP using this link.