Prince William, President of the Football Association, asked professional footballers to be better role models and urged them to respect match officials. Prince William demands all players to support the football association’s Respect programme.
In paying tribute to Sir Bobby Robson who died in July 2009, was an England Footballer and, after retirement, manager of several European clubs and the England national football team.
27-year-old, second in line to throne, Prince William called on the Premier League’s superstars to show the same sporting attitude embodied by the late former England boss. “Sir Bobby understood that to be successful in football, as in any other sport, requires tempered aggression and the competitive edge”.
“But what he also knew was that these can be taken too far. We saw this last season, in shameful scenes of groups of players confronting referees, verbally abusing them and physically intimidating them.”
“Football is central to the fabric of this nation. The way our footballing heroes behave – on and off the pitch – has an extraordinary influence over the wider national life, particularly amongst children and young people. I believe passionately, therefore, that all of us involved in our national game should recognise and take these responsibilities very seriously indeed”.
“It’s for this reason that, as President of the Football Association, I ask you to join me in backing the Respect programme, which seeks to promote sportsmanship and fair play.”
FA’s Respect programme is a campaign launched following high-profile incidents when Ashley Cole and Javier Mascherano were insolent towards officials.
The Prince made his remarks in a letter published in the England programme for Wednesday night’s World Cup qualifier against Croatia.