Discipline Regulation Changes

The Football Association have released a number of changes to Disciplinary Regulations/Procedures for season 2017-18.

In addition to the updates below, The FA Discipline Handbook will be released in due course and posted on the Worcestershire FA website.

Separation of FA Offences and CFA Offences
All suspensions imposed by a County FA will not affect a participant at Step 4 and above unless dispensation has been given by The FA for the suspension to cover all levels of the game. Likewise, a suspension at Step 4 and above will remain at Step 4 and above unless dispensation provided to cover all levels of the game.

This change will ensure Players and Clubs are not affected by suspensions from another body which operates under a different set of Disciplinary Regulations.

Suspension Start Dates
Following any case that has an automatic suspension (Red Card, 5/10/15 cautions) all suspensions will commence 7 days from the date of the offence. The onus is on the Player and Club to ensure the suspension is served irrespective whether paperwork is received or not.

Late Payment & Response Update
If a late fine is applied this will be due 14 days from the issue of the fine and will amount to 25% of the original amount invoiced. Failure to pay will result in a Club suspension on the first Monday 7 days after the monies were due.

If a late response fine is applied this will be due 14 days from the issue of the fine and will amount to 25% of the original amount invoiced. Failure to pay will result in a Team suspension on the first Monday 7 days after the monies were due.

County FA Discipline Commissions
To improve the efficiency and effectiveness of Discipline Commissions the following rules have been implemented, thus ensuring personnel sitting are fully compliant and aware of discipline process and regulations:

- Every Commission must have a qualified Commission Secretary

Independent members will provide opportunities for those not operating within CFA councils to be incorporated into the discipline process providing their skillset and expertise on decisions. Thus, improving the diversity of the Panel and having a true reflection of the personnel within the County. The definition of an Independent member is where the member has no involvement other than the Disciplinary panel with a County Association.

- All Commissions must have an independent member (effective from 1st January 2018)

Appealing a County FA Decision
A participant charged will be able to lodge an appeal against any decision of a County FA, the minimum threshold has been removed and so all decisions found Proven, are subject to appeal by the Participant charged.

All suspensions imposed following a misconduct charge commence 3 days after the date of the hearing with an intention to appeal having to be made within those 3 days. The full written submissions are still required within 14 days of the written decision. Any appeal outside of these timelines will not be accepted.

Mandatory Minimum Sanctions
To ensure consistency Nationally, mandatory minimum sanctions have been introduced, an individual who receives a charge below and if found proven, will face as a minimum the sanction below listed. A Commission can increase based upon the aggravating factors that are present. These are not an entry point.

- Assaults on a Match Official – 5 year minimum sanction
- Physical contact on a Match official - 84 days & £100 minimum
- Threatening a match official – 56 days/6 matches & £50 minimum

Serious Offences and Suspensions
Any proven case following a charge below and where a suspension is imposed will automatically suspend the participant from all football and football activities at County level and is highly likely to be extended Nationally should an application from the CFA to The FA with all the relevant contact details. The charges are:

- Assaults on a Match Official
- Physical contact on a Match official
- Threatening a match official
- Assault by participant on participant
- Any sanction in excess of 10 matches or 112 days

Football Debt Recovery (FDR)
A review of FDR has been approved with several amendments being made to ensure the process is effective and fair to participants. The changes are:

- Where there is more than 1 debtor on an action, the administration fee from the CFA has increased to £2 on each individual. Where there is only 1 debtor, the fee of £10 remains.

- On an annual basis, any debt created more than 7 years ago will be deactivated and removed from the system. All monies & suspension will be cleared and removed.

- On an annual basis, any debt whereby the entity did not affiliate in the previous season will be written off and any suspension imposed lifted.

- Leagues will be able to apply a £2 administration fee on all FDR applications

General
- Any suspension includes a suspension from all refereeing

- "No Review" sanctions have been removed. A Commission must impose a sanction relative to the offence and cannot insert a review period in order for the Participant to be aware of the full extent of their suspension.

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