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The reporting of discrimination

INSTILLING confidence in reporting discrimination is a key goal for The FA and Suffolk FA.

THE FA and Suffolk FA are determined to provide an inclusive football experience for anyone who wishes to play, coach, officiate, administer, support or be involved in any role in English football. An experience that is reflective of our diverse communities, safe for all and free from abuse and discrimination.

Instilling confidence in reporting discrimination is a key goal of our collective inclusion and anti-discrimination work across the game. Please see the documents at the foot of this page to help you with reporting discrimination.

We take any report of discrimination extremely seriously. If you’ve been subjected to discriminatory behaviour – or seen it happen – you need to be able to report it quickly, and to the right people. We treat every report in confidence, ensuring concerns or experiences are heard, taken seriously and dealt with promptly and appropriately.


What is discriminatory behaviour?

Discriminatory abuse includes a reference to any one or more of the following ‘protected characteristics’, covered by the Equality Act 2010:


  • Ethnic origin
  • Colour
  • Race
  • Nationality
  • Religion or belief
  • Gender
  • Gender reassignment
  • Sexual Orientation
  • Disability


How do I report discrimination?

 You can download Kick It Out’s app, which lets you to report confidentially using film and video. Kick It Out also employs a dedicated Reporting Officer, funded by The FA. Their role is to monitor reported incidents across grassroots and the professional game. They liaise regularly with The FA, the Leagues, County FAs and clubs as well as civil bodies, such as The Police and The Crown Prosecution Services. There are more ways you can report discrimination via Kick It Out below.

You can email Suffolk FA direct via discipline@suffolkfa.com to report concerns.

Call 0800 169 9414 and speak directly to a Kick It Out staff member.

Please include the following information: 

  • Your name
  • Your contact details
  • Details of exactly what happened, where, when and the game/league/people involved
  • Why you think what happened is discriminatory?

When reporting an incident of social media discrimination, screenshots or links to the offending posts are recommended in order to assist Kick It Out in taking up the issue with the relevant social media platform or authority.

When reporting an incident of social media discrimination, screenshots or links to the offending posts are recommended in order to assist Kick It Out in taking up the issue with the relevant social media platform or authority

What happens when I report discrimination to the County FA?

Stage 1: Allegation of discrimination is received by the County FA. The allegation can be submitted by anyone: Referees/Assistant Referees – via his/her match report, participant report (player, coach, manager, spectator) – via email/form/telephone.

Stage 2: The County FA will contact the individual who has made the allegation to understand the context of the allegation. At this time, the individual will be asked to identify any witnesses and the alleged offender. 

Stage 3: The County FA will inform The FA, of the alleged incident.

Stage 4: An investigation will take place. The investigation will include:

  • Contacting the alleged offender for a response to the allegation
  • Contacting all identified witnesses and obtaining statements
  • Identifying additional witnesses and obtaining statements

Stage 5: The FA along with the County FA, will review all evidence and determine the charge(s) to be raised. Please note, not all allegations result in charges being raised. Charges are only raised if enough credible evidence is collated to determine a case to answer. A disciplinary charge will not be raised for an aggravated breach of FA Rule E3(1) for a youth player under the age of 12, the primary aim in such cases will be education.

Stage 6: Charges are issued to the participants(s). Participants have 14 days to respond to the charge whereby they can plead Guilty or Not Guilty. At this time they can also request a personal hearing or have the charge dealt with via correspondence hearing.

Stage 6: A Disciplinary Commission will deal with the case based on the response received in stage 5:

Stage 7: If found proven, the Disciplinary Commission will apply a sanction (punishment) in line with the FA Sanction Guidelines.

The sanction for discriminatory abuse is a minimum six-match suspension and mandatory education, plus a possible fine.

Suffolk FA Football Services Manager Darryn Marsh said: “Anyone who believes they may have witnessed or been a victim of discrimination or abuse during a game is encouraged to report it immediately.

“All participants should be able to enjoy the game they love in a positive environment for all. So please remember, if you see it, or hear it, report it.”


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