Ghana's No. 1

Silva 'aware' of impact of behaviour at grassroots

Published on: 30 March 2023

Marco Silva - We made a mistake and regret the situation

Fulham manager Marco Silva says he is aware the impact his behaviour could have at grassroots level.

Silva, who has been charged for abusive behaviour towards match officials, expects to be on the touchline for Saturday's league match at Bournemouth.

The 45-year-old had until Wednesday to respond to the Football Association charge which followed his red card in the FA Cup loss at Manchester United.

Silva and Fulham striker Aleksandar Mitrovic issued an apology yesterday.

Mitrovic is facing a lengthy ban after the FA said its standard three-match suspension for a straight sending off was "clearly insufficient" for the Serb's push on referee Chris Kavanagh at Old Trafford earlier this month.

In a statement, both Silva and Mitrovic said they regretted their actions and apologised to referee Kavanagh - while Silva added: "I should have controlled my own emotions better".

Hundreds of grassroots referees told the BBC last month that they fear for their safety when officiating.

Asked at a news conference on Thursday whether he and Mitrovic were aware of the impact their actions could have at grassroots level, Silva responded: "We are aware of our responsibilities.

"Everyone watches the matches, at all levels, and we are aware of this."

On facing a touchline ban he added: "It's always tough for any manager to be off the touchline, but I regret the situation and if I have to be in the stand I will do my job in the stand."

More than 900 referees in England responded to a BBC Radio 5 Live questionnaire, with 293 saying they had been physically abused by spectators, players, coaches or managers.

A trial of referees wearing body cameras in adult grassroots football to help prevent abuse could start early next year.

Last season, bans were handed to 380 players and coaches for attacking or threatening referees and match officials in English grassroots football.

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