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Somerset FA release statement on 'unprecedented' rise in disciplinary issues

The CEO of the Somerset FA has released a statement highlighting concerns about the big rise in disciplinary cases in the county.

Jonathan Pike released the statement which said that this season there has already been a 50% increase in disciplinary issues compared to the same stage last year.

Speaking on the Associations official website Pike called on anyone involved in the game to think about their actions and the negative impact it could have.

"Season 2021/2022 and Season 2022/2023 were already two of the worst in terms of discipline that we have ever seen in Somerset and, far from an improvement in these statistics, we are seeing a worrying trend in the opposite direction." The statement said.
"Most worryingly, a large number of these cases are in youth football. Cases involving youth players and referees have risen by an alarming 66% from this time in 2022. The main offenders in youth football are adults, be they coaches, managers, club assistant referees, spectators or parents. This may not come as a surprise to some of you who regularly watch youth football, but now is the time for everyone to take responsibility and protect the game that we all love..."
"It would be wrong to think this is restricted to the youth game. The rise in indiscipline is spread across all aspects of grassroots football, from mini soccer, youth football, adult male and adult female."

The statement also highlighted the negative impact this is having on finding people to officiate games at grassroots level, saying "Sadly, we’ve had more incidents of adults abusing new or young referees, with young referees being left in tears by the conduct of adults."

The statement ended with a simple message- 'We need to act together to protect our game'.
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