Enabling children to play safe in football

Last updated: 23 Nov 2021 Topics: Safeguarding children Type: Campaign

Every child should be able to participate within a football community that allows them to play safe.

The NSPCC are proud to partner with the Football Association (FA) for their #PlaySafe campaign.

Launched for the first time  on 20 November, the campaign aims to raise awareness about the importance of safeguarding children within football, and what we can all do to embed effective safeguarding practices across the game.

The FA will dedicate at least one weekend per season to #PlaySafe, and the campaign will support other relevant awareness events throughout the footballing calendar.

“Every Child should feel safe playing the game we love.” – Harry Kane, England Captain.

Millions of children participate in football across various levels, and it is everyone’s responsibility to ensure that they are kept safe throughout their sporting journey. With reports of abuse in football coming to light in recent years, we must all familiarise ourselves with how we can safeguard children, and this is relevant to all sports and activities, not just the football community.

“The campaign has the support of the former footballers with lived experience of abuse in football, who are on our Survivor Support and Safeguarding Advisory Group” – Mark Bullingham, FA Chief Executive.

Paul Stewart, former top division footballer, came forward in 2016 about the sexual abuse he experienced as a child, and is now a strong advocate for safeguarding in sport. Speaking in our new podcast, Paul highlights the importance of using the experiences of survivors to put in place new measures to protect children and young people today.

What can you do?

Responding to survivor stories, the FA has released a series of short videos reaching out to club officials, parents and children. These videos support the campaign, spreading awareness and guidance on how we can all act to ensure children and young people are protected.

Key to this is the importance of establishing a culture where children feel safe disclosing concerns; where they are thoroughly listened to, and their concerns are always reported and acted upon effectively.

Watch this clip which explores what Club Officials can do. 

Read more about the campaign on The FA website.