Regulation changes to grassroots football

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The Football Association is set to make amendments to regulations governing football teams operating in the fifth tier and below. The proposed changes, which will be applicable during the 2017-18 season, are summarised below.

Separation of FA offences and CFA offences

Suspensions issued by a County FA will not be imposed on a participant on step 4 and above except in cases where the FA grants a dispensation for a postponement to cut across all levels. This change is aimed at protecting players and clubs from suspensions from other disciplinary bodies.

Suspension commencement Dates

All suspensions will start on their date of issue. Players and clubs are required to serve their suspension regardless of receipt or non-receipt of paperwork.

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Late Payment and Response Update

Belated fines will be due 14 days from the date of issue and will amount to 25% of the initially invoiced amount. A breach of this rule will attract a club suspension effective seven days after the money was due.

County FA Discipline Commissions

The following amendments have been enacted:

a) A qualified commission secretary is mandatory to every commission
b) Effective from 1st January 2018, every commission will be required to have an independent member to help incorporate those outside CFA council into the disciplinary procedure. A separate member is a member whose involvement with a County Association is strictly limited to the disciplinary panel.

Appeals against a County FA Decision

Consequent to the abolishment of the minimum threshold, the charged party can now appeal all CFA decisions found proven. Although suspensions pertinent to a misconduct charge start three days after the hearing, the accused party can still appeal such suspensions within 14 days of the written decision.

Mandatory Minimum Sanctions

The following charges will attract their respective minimum sanctions as listed below;
  • Assaulting a match official—5-year sanction
  • Physical contact on any match official—84 days and £100
  • Issuing threats to a match official—56 days/6 matches and £50
Depending on the present aggravating factors, a commission can increase.

Serious Suspensions and Offences

Following a proven case for any charge listed below, the resultant suspension will automatically suspend the charged party from all football-related activities at the county level. Should the CFA submit an application to the FA with all relevant facts, the suspension can be extended nationally. The charges include:
  • Assaulting a match official
  • Physical contact on a match official
  • issuance of threats to a match official
  • Assault on a participant
  • Any sanction exceeding ten matches 112 days

Football Debt Recovery (FDR)

Amendments to FDR include:
  • An increase in the CFA administration fee to £2 in cases involving more than one debtor.
  • Debts aged more than seven years will be cleared from the system annually.
  • Debts not affiliated with the previous season will be written off and their respective suspensions lifted on an annual basis.
  • Leagues can now apply a £2 administration fee on applications pertaining FDR.

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