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Last Updated: Tuesday November 18 2008 15:53 GMT

Ricky looks into respect in football

Newsround's Ricky

If you've ever been to a youth football match where pushy parents and angry coaches are shouting and causing trouble from the sidelines, then you're not alone.

The Football Association was so concerned about this that they've introduced 'respect barriers' to try to make parents and fans behave.

Ricky went to find out more.


Who would have thought a thin strip of plastic with the word 'respect' on it could change the way we play football?

Footie bosses hope an idea called respect barriers will do just that. They're a new invention to stop abuse and create a positive zone around the football pitch.

They look really basic and they don't cost that much money, but loads of youth football teams across England have already snapped them up.

They hope the barriers will stop abuse from some pushy parents and fans, who hang around the sides of football fields during matches.

When I was at school I remember playing football on the weekends, surrounded by loads of parents who were there to support their kids.

But sometimes things used to get a bit out of hand. I remember some of the mums and dads shouting at the referee and at their own kids, to try to influence the game and make their kids play better.

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Kids' views on respect barriers

I went to a school in Barnsley to see how the barriers worked. Loads of kids there said they were a great idea and that they took the stress out of the game.

But it's not just the players who say they're fed up with angry fans - referees are backing the respect barriers too.

Every year, 7,000 referees decide they don't want to do it anymore. The FA hopes the new campaign could persuade them not to hang up their whistles.

I spoke to former England footballer and now England Under-21 boss Stuart Pearce. He said: "I learnt how to play football in the non-league game and I fully support the respect barriers to tackle abuse. Without a referee you don't have a game."

Footie experts hope these temporary barriers, which only take a few minutes to set up, will help kids perform better on the pitch and stop loads of adults screaming abuse from the touchline.