County Cup Chaos

There is an interesting article in the Huddersfield Examiner  (click link)

We asked for advice from the County FA and this was their reply……….

"I have spoken with the FA Safeguarding Team and also with the NSPCC Child Protection in Sport Unit. The general consensus is that the Duty of Care in this instance lies with the parents. If they are concerned about their child's wellbeing because of the pressure of exams, or they felt that playing sport would have a detrimental effect on their emotional state, or put them under undue pressure. It is their responsibility as the legal guardian to decide whether their child should play or not. These discussions should should then take place with the player, parents and the coach. 

If a parent expresses a wish that their child does not play (pending exam for example) then this wish should be respected by the coach and the child excluded from the team for that game. If the Coach subsequently plays him, then the coach is failing in his duty of care towards the child. 

Having said that, I would expect any responsible club, as good practice to have a player, parent meeting to discuss the exam v games issue. 

However, to be clear, the parent or legal guardian has the ultimate decision, not the club or coach. 

So how many games are too many? How long is a piece of string? To a 16 year old, and in my experience, they will want to play in every game, regardless of how many. They love football, and sometimes this can provide a natural release from their exams / revision period. 

I cannot recommend to play or cancel games, I am sure squad rotation can come into effect if a parent asks their child misses a game through this period. 

We just have to be aware that when things are labelled safeguarding / welfare issues, parents, clubs and coaches all have a Duty of Care to ensure football is fun, safe and enjoyable for their children. Safeguarding is everyone's responsibility."