Discrimination has no place in society and we are committed to tackling allegations of discriminatory language and behaviour in grassroots football.
We encourage any discrimination experienced or witnessed to be reported and we will work in collaboration with the participants and The Football Association to ensure any proven instances of racism are addressed with the perpetrators concerned.Tell us, we'll tackle it.
THE DISCIPLINARY PROCESS
Stage 1: Allegation of discrimination received by the Devon 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 Devon 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 Devon FA will inform the Football Association 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
Statements can be obtained in a number of ways:
Via email or letter
Over the phone and transcribed
In person via interview
Stage 5: The Devon FA and Football Association 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.
Stage 6: Charges are issued to the participants(s). Participants have 14 days to respond to the charge. Participants can select any of the following responses:
(A) We are pleading GUILTY to the charges and we wish all of the cases to be dealt with in my absence using the correspondence submitted.
(B) We are pleading GUILTY to the charges and we wish to attend a disciplinary hearing to enter a verbal plea of leniency.
(C) We are pleading NOT GUILTY to the charge and we wish the case to be dealt with in our absence using the correspondence submitted.
(D) We are pleading NOT GUILTY to the charges and we wish to attend a disciplinary hearing
Where no response is received, a Disciplinary Commission will review the case and determine an outcome on the evidence available at the time.
Stage 6: A Disciplinary Commission (see page 8) will deal with the case based on the response received in stage 5:
Response A + C: A Disciplinary Commission will review all paperwork (including statements, witness accounts, photos, video footage) and will determine if the case is Proven or not proven.
Response B + D: Disciplinary Commission will review all paperwork (including statements, witness accounts, photos, video footage) and will invite the alleged offender, victim and any witnesses to attend the hearing to provide their account of the alleged incident and allow for the Commission members to ask exploratory questions. The Commission will then determine if the case is Proven or not proven.
Stage 7: If found Proven, the Disciplinary Commission will apply a sanction (punishment) in line with the FA Sanction Guidelines.
Below you can view the guidance packs for individuals attending a Personal Hearing:
Our role in the process is impartial and offers all participants (alleged offender, victim, and witnesses) an equal opportunity to submit observations. It is not in our gift to determine if the alleged offender is guilty/not guilty. Our role is simply to conduct an exploratory investigation to compile as much detail and credible evidence as we can to ‘support’ an allegation. The term ‘support’ refers to the collection of evidence (for and against). If enough evidence is presented to suggest a case to answer, a charge will be raised.