The FA Rules and Governance

FA Governance

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FA Rules and Governance

Welcome to The FA Rules and Governance section of the County FA website. The FA will use this section to provide useful information and resources for Leagues, Clubs, and Players throughout the 2013-14 Season.

The FA Discipline Handbook 2013-14

The Discipline Handbook 2013-14 is an online interactive reference guide to aid Leagues, Clubs and Players through the forthcoming season.

You can access the handbook here – Click to open FA Discipline Handbook 2013-14

The handbook will be a useful guide to explain the disciplinary process and details the changes that have taken place over the last few years – including match based discipline, sanction guidelines and changes to handling discrimination. This year’s guide also includes videos and resources that will go into greater depth to explain the disciplinary process.


  • Introduction from Mark Ives, Disciplinary Manager
  • Player Insurance
  • Processing Misconduct Charges
  • What to expect when attending a County FA hearing
  • Member Services – a walk through guide
  • Respect


  • Suspension Notification Form
  • Club Statement
  • League Statement
  • Sending Off Paperwork
  • Board of Appeal
  • Alternate Charge Notification
  • Multiple Charge Notification
  • Penalty Points
  • Sanction Guidelines

There is also a Leagues section to provide guidance for administrators regarding the Powers and Duties of the League.

Members' Services

Click on the video at the top of the page for a Members' Services step by step walkthrough video - this video is also included in the FA Discipline Handbook 2013-14.

Chairmans Checklist

The Chairmans checklist is a useful aid for County FA Commission Chairman to ensure that all the neccessary processes have been correctly followed. It can also help Participants understand the general format of their hearing. It should be noted that this document is just a guide and not compulsory so Commissions may adopt varying approaches. You can download this from the documents section below.

Sanction Guidelines

In 2011 The Football Association decided to implement a Sanctions Guideline document to improve consistensy across all Associations in the application of sanctions. This document will serve as a useful guide and will enable Participants to have an awareness of likely sanction should the case against them be found proven. You can download this from the documents section below.

Respect Charges

Over recent years The Football Association have been promoting RESPECT visibly both on and off the pitch with the aim to reduce the bad discipline, increase and promote good behaviour from Players, Clubs and all individuals who are involved in the game.

To assist with this change a new charge has been introduced which will affect Clubs at Steps 5-7 called ‘RESPECT’, which will be an automatic charge raised by the County should a team receive 10 or more yellow/red cards in a season for Dissent or Foul & Abusive language.

The table below provides further details on the sanction that will be imposed when if the thresholds are to be exceeded by a team throughout the season.  To clarify that the only discipline that counts towards the charge are cautions for dissent and sendings off for foul and abusive language:

10 Cautions

15 Sanctions

20 Sanctions

25 Sanctions

Step 5

Warned as to future conduct



Charge under FA Rule E20

Step 6 & 7

Warned as to future conduct



Charge under FA Rule E20

The FA Rules and Governance website 

The new Rules and Governance website will help provide a better understanding of the role of The FA's governance department and governance of the game in general. The purpose of the site is to enable everyone involved in the game, whether with a league or club, as a player, match official ,or as a spectator, to have a better understanding of the role we all play in the governance of the game. Click here to access site.

Pre-Season Friendly Matches 

New regulations relating to dismissals and suspensions in pre-season friendly matches have been introduced ahead the 2013-14 Season.

Any player dismissed from the Field of Play will now be suspended automatically from only Friendly Matches until such time as their Club has completed its next Friendly Match, as decided by The Football Association or relevant County Association. 

Any Red/Yellow cards do not count for the accumulation of offences and will not affect the Clubs competitive fixtures.  

Where sanctions are imposed in respect of cautions on Participants with their agreement (e.g. as part of tournament rules), any such sanction may only apply to Friendly Matches and shall not apply to First Team Competitive Matches or Non First Team Matches.

However, charges of Misconduct pursuant to Rule E3 of the Rules of The Association may be brought against a Player in relation to any incident arising in a Friendly Match. 

A Regulatory Commission or County Disciplinary Commission considering a charge under Rule E3 in such circumstances shall have regard to any punishment imposed and shall be free to impose a suspension which may affect competitive fixtures at its discretion.

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