What do we mean by the grassroots game? 

Men’s grassroots game

  • All leagues below the Evo-Stik and Bostik leagues (starting from Step 5)
  • All related cup competitions relating to any leagues below the Evo-Stik and Bostik leagues 

Women’s grassroots game

  • All leagues below and including the Women’s National League

For reports regarding leagues and their associated competitions above these levels, take a look at our professional game reporting process in the box above. 

Our reporting process for grassroots games

What to do when you witness/are a victim of discrimination

Victim support

The current process facilities a fair amount of communication, particularly when charges are made. At Kick It Out we acknowledge that the first, and most important, form of communication should be about victim support.

A member of the Kick It Out reporting team will be in touch with the complainant within 24 hours of receiving the report. This will be to confirm the following:

  • Receipt of the report
  • Passing the report to their local County FA
  • The next steps, once the report has been passed on to the County FA
  • County FA investigations aim to be concluded within 90 days. Kick It Out will work to provide updates throughout this period

Within 48 hours of the reporting team receiving the report, a member of the Kick It Out grassroots team will contact the complainant directly to discuss the following:

  • Victim wellbeing
  • Confirmation of Kick It Out’s role within the reporting process
  • Next steps with Kick It Out’s continued support

We must emphasise that at Kick It Out, we are an anti-discrimination campaigning organisation and are therefore not specialists in specific means of support. Should support be required that is outside of our capacity, we will guide the victim and signpost them to relevant partner organisations or individuals.

Referee guidance

As a referee, you are responsible for the smooth officiating of a game, which includes protecting the wellbeing of the players. In the event of a discriminatory incident taking place, there is an emotional element which must be taken into consideration, yet not influencing the procedures you take.

  1. The referee must take charge of the situation to ensure it does not escalate
  2. Bring the player who you saw or heard using the discriminatory language, to a safe position on the field of play and dismiss the player
  3. Note all relevant details, such as the time of the incident, FOP position of the player and any reactions from other players
  4. Approach the manager of the victim. Explain what you saw or heard, followed by stating the next steps
  5. Approach the manager of the offender. Explain what you saw or heard, followed by stating the next steps
  6. Complete your post-match report and report the incident to your local County FA 

If you do not see or hear discrimination, but receive a report during the game:

  1. The referee must take charge of the situation to ensure it does not escalate
  2. You need the victim to tell you exactly what was said or done
  3. Reassure the victim that whilst you cannot deal with it there and the, due to you not seeing or hearing the incident, you will be submitting a report
  4. You must note the time and should take note of any important factors – coming together of players or coaches for example. Did anyone else witness the discrimination?
  5. Speak to each manager separately. Explain that you will be reporting what you have been made aware of
  6. Post-match, you should ask the victim to come to your changing room or a separate area with a team official. Ask them to repeat the allegation to you. Advise that you will be reporting the allegation as per what they have told you
  7. Invite the alleged offender in once the victim has left. Include their team official or witness. State what has been alleged and advise that you are duty bound to report it
  8. Complete your post-match report and report the incident to your local County FA