Code of Conduct

Coleraine Football Club Limited

Code of Conduct

Section One: Introduction

Section Two: Code of Conduct for Club Officials

Section Three: Code of Conduct for Managers and Coaches (Senior Teams)

Section Four: Code of Conduct for Players in the Senior Teams

Section Five: Code of Conduct for Managers/Coaches/Volunteers involved with Children/Young Players

Section Six: Code of Conduct for Children/Young Players

Section Seven: Code of Conduct for Parents/Guardians

Section Eight: Code of Conduct for Spectators

Section Nine: Dealing with Complaints/Breaches of the Code

Section One: Introduction

Coleraine Football Club Ltd (Coleraine Football Club) and Coleraine Football Club Academy, including the associated Harry Gregg Foundation, fully endorse the Irish Football Association’s Community Relations Policy Statement which respects and values diversity. In addition the officials, staff, management, players and supporters of Coleraine Football Club and Coleraine Football Club Academy fully endorse UEFA’s 10 Point Plan to tackle racism and sectarianism.

We, at Coleraine Football Club, Coleraine Football Club Academy and Harry Gregg Foundation, will endeavour to provide an environment which values and enables the full involvement of all people, in all aspects and at every level of the Club, regardless of perceived cultural identity, political affiliation or religious beliefs.

We support the IFA’s philosophy of “Football For All” and we fully endorse the policies and guidelines contained within the IFA’s “Safeguarding Children in Football”.

Coleraine Football Club is responsible for setting standards and values to apply throughout the Club at every level, including the Coleraine Football Club Academy and Harry Gregg Foundation. Football belongs to and should be enjoyed by everyone, equally. The Club’s commitment and intent is to uphold these beliefs by confronting and eliminating discrimination whether by reason of sex, sexual orientation, race, nationality, ethnic origin, colour, religion or disability.

Coleraine Football Club commits to:

  • ensure that everyone within the club (officials, coaches and volunteers), whatever their role, has read, agreed and signed up to their relevant Code – and understands the actions which could be taken if Codes are broken
  • collect and retain the signed agreement forms, where applicable
  • deal fairly and consistently with anyone who breaks the relevant Code

Coleraine Football Club will do all it reasonably and practically can to show its level of commitment to stamp out discreditable conduct and will deal with cases of reported misconduct and unacceptable behaviour from players, coaches, club officials or spectators that bring the club into disrepute. When required, disciplinary action may involve a verbal or written warning or, in serious cases, termination of employment or engagement with Coleraine Football Club, Coleraine Football Club Academy or Harry Gregg Foundation.

The club will not tolerate any offensive behaviour or chanting. The action and sanctions by the club can range from education, mentoring, official warnings and advice, suspension, or even exclusion from the club and its grounds.

Where criminal offences have been committed the police will be asked to intervene and arrest and prosecute where appropriate. Coleraine Football Club’s introduction of this Code Of Conduct should result in the provision of football in an environment where everyone feels safe and included.

This Code of Conduct applies to:

  • Club officials (including Coleraine Football Club Academy and Harry Gregg Foundation)
  • Management and coaches of senior teams (first team, Reserves and Colts)
  • Players of senior teams (first team, Reserves and Colts)
  • Management and coaches of Soccer School and Academy teams
  • Players of the Soccer School and Academy teams
  • Parents/carers of players of the Soccer School and Academy teams
  • Supporters of Coleraine Football Club.

Section Two: Code of Conduct for Club Officials

This Code applies to all club Officials (although some items may not apply to all Officials according to their specific roles within the club) including officials of Coleraine Football Club, Academy and Harry Gregg Foundation.

Obligations to the game:

  • set a positive example for others, particularly young players and supporters
  • promote and develop the various club teams having regard to the interest of the players, supporters and reputation of the national game
  • share knowledge and experience when invited to do so, taking into account the interest of the body that has requested this rather than personal interests
  • avoid all forms of gamesmanship
  • show due respect to Match Officials and others involved in the game
  • always have regard for the best interests of the game, including where publicly expressing an opinion of the game and any particular aspect of it, including others involved in the game
  • do not use or tolerate inappropriate language.

Obligations to the club/team:

  • make every effort to develop the sporting, technical and tactical levels of the club/team, and to obtain the best results for the team, using all permitted means
  • give priority to the interests of the club/team over individual interests
  • resist all illegal or unsporting influences, including banned substances and techniques
  • promote ethical principles
  • show due respect for the interests of the players, coaches and officials, their own club/team and others
  • must not disseminate information that is confidential in any way
  • shall not through his/her acts or omissions bring the Club into disrepute or assist or encourage others to do so.

Obligations to the supporters:

  • Show due respect for the interests of supporters.

Respect to match officials:

  • accept the decisions of the Match Official without protest
  • avoid words or actions which may mislead a Match Official
  • show due respect towards Match Officials.

Use of Social Media:

  • comply with the requirements laid down in the Coleraine Football Club Social Media policy.

Declaration:

I, ………………………………………………, understand any misdemeanours or breach of this code will be dealt with immediately and reported verbally and in writing to the Coleraine Football Club.

A serious or persistent breach of the code may result in dismissal (according to appropriate processes) from Coleraine Football Club. Dismissals may be appealed by the official (except in the case of directors) with final decisions taken by a Disciplinary Panel set up by the Chairman of Coleraine Football Club.

Signed: _______________________________________________

Print Name: _______________________________________________

Date: _______________________________________________

Section Three: Code of Conduct for Managers & Coaches

Managers and coaches at every level of football within Coleraine Football Club have a duty of care towards their staff and players. In respect of children and young players there are additional vulnerabilities and dangers and for that reason there are separate sections in this Code of Conduct dealing with policies and guidelines surrounding children and young players.

Managers and coaches are the key to the establishment of ethics in football. Their concept of ethics and their attitude directly affects the behaviour of players under their supervision. Managers and coaches are, therefore, expected to pay particular care to the moral aspect of their conduct.

Managers and coaches have to be aware that many of their decisions and choices of actions, as well as strategic targets, have ethical implications. It is natural that winning constitutes a basic concern for managers and coaches. This code is not intended to conflict with that. However, the code calls for managers and coaches to disassociate themselves from a ‘win-at-all costs’ attitude. They should therefore comply with the following:

  • respect the rights, dignity and worth of each and every person and treat each equally within the context of the sport
  • refrain from engaging in, or tolerating, offensive, insulting or abusive language or behaviour
  • place the well-being and safety of each player above all other considerations, including the development of performance
  • adhere to all guidelines laid down by governing bodies
  • develop an appropriate working relationship with each player based on mutual trust and respect
  • do not exert undue influence to obtain personal benefit or reward
  • encourage and guide players to accept responsibility for their own behaviour and performance
  • ensure that the activities they direct or advocate are appropriate for the age, maturity, experience and ability of players
  • at the outset, clarify with the players (and where appropriate parent) exactly what is expected of them and also what they are entitled to expect from their manager or coach
  • co-operate fully with other specialists (e.g. other coaches, officials, sports scientists, doctors, and physiotherapists) in the best interests of the player
  • always promote the positive aspects of the sport (e.g. fair play) and never condone violations of the Laws of the Game, behaviour contrary to the spirit of the Laws of the Game or relevant rules and regulations or the use of prohibited substances or techniques
  • consistently display high standards of behaviour and appearance; only official club teamwear/emblems should be worn when representing the club
  • comply with the requirements laid down in the Coleraine Football Club Social Media policy
  • shall not through his/her acts or omissions bring the Club into disrepute or assist or encourage others to do so.
  • the coach shall coach solely for the club or as authorised by the club

Declaration:

I, ………………………………………………, understand any misdemeanours or breach of this code will be dealt with immediately and reported verbally and in writing to the Coleraine Football Club.

A serious or persistent breach of the code will result in dismissal from Coleraine Football Club. Dismissals can be appealed by the manager/coach with final decisions taken by a Disciplinary Panel set up by the Chairman of Coleraine Football Club.

Signed: _______________________________________________

Print Name: _______________________________________________

Date: _______________________________________________

Section Four: Code of Conduct for Senior Players

All players at Coleraine Football Club have a responsibility in acting as ambassadors for the Club. In the eyes of many young persons and parents and guardians they are role models. They will comply with the following requirements as part of their contract with Coleraine Football Club:

  • the club and the player agree that he is employed under this contract as a professional player
  • the player undertakes to play to the best of his ability in all football matches in which he is selected to play by the club
  • the player must attend all training sessions at all times and at such locations, as reasonably directed by the Club. A professional player shall also make himself available for such reasonable community relations and other promotional activities as may be required by his club
  • the player shall play football solely for the club or as authorised by the club as required under the Rules of the Irish Football Association (IFA), UEFA and FIFA
  • except to the extent prevented by injury or illness to maintain a high standard of physical fitness at all times and not to indulge in any activity sport or practice which might endanger such fitness or inhibit his mental or physical ability to play or train
  • that he will give upon request all necessary authorities for the release to the Club of his medical records and will continue to make the same available as requested by the Club from time to time during the period of his registration
  • to comply with and act in accordance with all lawful instructions of any authorised official of the club
  • to observe the Rules of the Irish Football Association and Coleraine Football Club
  • to attend promptly to any medical appointments (including dental) as the Club may reasonably request and to undergo at no expense to himself such treatment as may be prescribed by the medical or dental advisers of the Club or the Club’s insurers
  • on the termination of this registration shall return to the Club in a reasonable and proper condition any property, which has been provided or made available by the Club to the player in connection with his employment
  • the player shall not, without written consent from his club, participate in any other football, sporting or athletic activity
  • any incapacity or illness must immediately be reported by the player to a Club nominated representative. The club shall maintain and keep records of any incapacity or illness. Following an accident or incapacity sustained in the course of his employment with the club the club shall promptly arrange appropriate treatment and shall ensure that such treatment is undertaken and completed without expense to the Player.
  • comply with the requirements laid down in Coleraine Football Club Social Media policy.

The Player agrees that he shall not:

  • undertake or be involved in any activity or practice which will knowingly cause exclusion of the player’s cover pursuant to any policy of insurance which may be maintained for the benefit of the club on the life of the player or covering his physical well-being (including injury and incapacity and treatment thereof)
  • knowingly or recklessly do, write or say anything, or omit to do anything, which is likely to bring the club or the game of football into disrepute, cause the player or the club to be in breach of the Rules or cause damage to the club or its officers or employees or any match official. Whenever circumstances permit, the player shall give to the club reasonable notice of his intention to make any contributions to the public media in order to allow representations to be made to him on behalf of the club if it so desires
  • except to the extent specifically herein provided or otherwise specifically agreed with the player, nothing in this Code of Conduct shall prevent the player from undertaking promotional activities or from exploiting the player’s image so long as such activities are not in conflict with the club’s commercial interests
  • except to the extent of any commitments already entered into by the player as at the date hereof or when on International duty in relation to the Player’s National Association, UEFA or FIFA, he shall not (without the written consent of the club) at any time during the term of this code of Conduct do anything to promote, endorse or provide promotional, marketing or advertising services which conflict or compete with:

(a) any of the Club’s club branded or football related products (including the playing strip) or any products, brand or services of the Club’s main sponsors/commercial partners

(b) the principal sponsor/s of the League as may be secured by the IFA from time to time

  • the player shall permit the club to photograph him as a member of the squad of players and staff of the club and as an individual team member, provided that such photographs are for use only as the official photographs of the club
  • the player shall also permit the League to photograph him with the sole purpose of promoting the League
  • the Player and Club agree to comply with the conditions of the World Anti Doping Agency (WADA) and to facilitate any doping control tests which may from time to time be conducted
  • players are strictly forbidden from gambling on any football matches within Northern Ireland. All matches will be monitored by the UEFA Betting Fraud Detection System. The player hereby agrees that he will not, either on his own behalf or with or through any third party, take part in betting, gambling, lotteries and similar events or transactions connected with football matches within Northern Ireland
  • the player shall not through his acts or omissions bring the Club into disrepute or assist or encourage others to do so.

Declaration:

I, ………………………………………………, understand any misdemeanours or breach of this code will be dealt with immediately and reported verbally and in writing to the Coleraine Football Club.

A serious or persistent breach of the code will result in dismissal from Coleraine Football Club. Dismissals can be appealed by the player with final decisions taken by a Disciplinary Panel set up by the Chairman of Coleraine Football Club.

Signed: _______________________________________________

Print Name: _______________________________________________

Date: _______________________________________________

Section Five: Code of Conduct for Managers/Coaches/Volunteers involved with Children/Young Players

Coleraine Football Club, Coleraine Football Club Academy and Harry Gregg Foundation fully recognises that the safety and welfare of children and young persons associated with the club are paramount. The club will endeavour to provide an environment which values and protects all children in all aspects and at every level of football at Coleraine Football Club, Coleraine Football Club, Coleraine Football Club Academy and Harry Gregg Foundation regardless of perceived ability, cultural identity or religious beliefs.

It is the policy of Coleraine Football Club, Coleraine Football Club Academy and Harry Gregg Foundation to protect children and young persons involved in football from inappropriate behaviour and all types of abuse. Increased responsibility (in addition to those detailed in Section Three) is requested from all managers and coaches involved in coaching young people at Coleraine Football Club, Coleraine Football Club Academy and Harry Gregg Foundation.

The health, safety, welfare and moral education of young people are a first priority, before the achievement or the reputation of the club, manager, coach or parent. In drawing up these Codes of Conduct for managers, coaches and volunteers involved with children/young persons, Coleraine Football Club, Coleraine Football Club Academy and Harry Gregg Foundation have followed the guidelines contained within the IFA’s “Safeguarding Children in Football” policy. All managers, coaches and volunteers at Coleraine Football Club, Coleraine Football Club Academy and Harry Gregg Foundation involved with children and young persons must familiarise themselves with the contents of the above policy.

Complaints alleging any abuse of children/young persons will be reported to the official with responsibility for child protection who will deal with the matter as outlined in the IFA’s “Safeguarding Children in Football” policy.

Codes of Conduct for Coaches/Volunteers

All coaches and volunteers are encouraged to demonstrate exemplary behaviour in order to protect children/young people in their care and themselves from false allegations. The following are common sense examples of how to create a positive culture and climate within Coleraine Football Club, Coleraine Football Club Academy and Harry Gregg Foundation:

As a coach/volunteer within Coleraine Football Club, Coleraine Football Club Academy or Harry Gregg Foundation I, the undersigned, agree to the following charter:

  • I will respect the rights, dignity and worth of every person and treat everyone equally within the club/centre
  • I will develop an appropriate working relationship with children/young people based on mutual trust and respect. I will not exert undue influence to obtain personal benefit or reward
  • show due respect for the interests of the players, coaches and officials, their own club/team and others
  • I will always promote the positive aspects of football (e.g. fair play) and never condone rule violations or the use of prohibited substances
  • I shall not through my acts or omissions bring the Club/organisation into disrepute or assist or encourage others to do so.

Additionally, for those volunteers/coaches working with/in close proximity to children/young players:

  • I will be an excellent role model. This includes not smoking, drinking alcohol, using foul/racial/sectarian language or taking drugs in the company of children/young people
  • I will always work in an open environment (e.g. avoiding private or unobserved situations and encouraging an open environment, e.g. no secrets)
  • I will always put the welfare of each child/young person before winning or achieving goals
  • I will maintain a safe and appropriate distance with players (e.g. it is not appropriate to have an intimate relationship with a child/young person)
  • I will make football, enjoyable and promoting fair play
  • I will ensure that if any form of manual/physical support is required, it is provided openly and according to agreed guidelines. If physical support is needed, I will talk aloud to the child/young person explaining what I am doing and why as it is difficult to maintain hand positions when a child/young person is constantly moving. I agree that children/young people should always be consulted before they are touched and their agreement gained. Parental/guardian views about manual support will always be carefully considered
  • I will involve parents/guardians wherever possible (e.g. for the responsibility of their children in the changing rooms) provided they have been successfully vetted, are of the appropriate gender and work in pairs
  • I will give enthusiastic and constructive feedback, encouraging achievements rather than using negative criticism
  • I will recognise the developmental needs and capacity of children/young people, including those with a disability – avoiding excessive training or competition and not pushing them against their will
  • I will keep a written record or inform the Head Coach/Coordinator of any injury that occurs, along with the details of any treatment given
  • Bullying is not acceptable behaviour towards anyone, whether coach/volunteer, parent/guardian or child/young player. Anyone found to be bullying others will be dealt with seriously, both in relation to the behaviour exhibited and the reasons for the behaviour
  • I will never condone rule violations, rough play or the use of prohibited substances
  • I will protect myself from false accusations by not spending excessive amounts of time alone with children/young people away from others, by never taking children/young people to my home and by not administering First Aid involving the removing of children’s clothing unless in the presence of others
  • I will hold an up to date and nationally recognised coaching qualification and hold appropriate insurance cover
  • I will make football fun
  • comply with the requirements laid down in the Coleraine Football Club Social Media policy
  • shall not through his/her acts or omissions bring the Club into disrepute or assist or encourage others to do so.

Practices I will avoid:

  • Avoid spending any time alone with children/young people away from others.

Practices never to be sanctioned by coaches/volunteers

The following will never be sanctioned. I will never:

  • engage in rough, physical or sexually provocative games, including horseplay
  • share a room/tent/changing room/bath or shower with a child/young person
  • allow or engage in any form of inappropriate touching
  • allow children/young people to use foul, abusive, sectarian or racial language unchallenged
  • make sexually suggestive comments to a child/young person, even in fun
  • reduce a child/young person to tears as a form of control
  • allow allegations made by a child/young person to go unchallenged, unrecorded or not acted upon
  • undertake personal care for children/young people
  • invite or allow children/young people to stay with me at my home.

Coaches/volunteers have the right to:

  • access ongoing training and information on all aspects of leading/managing football for children/young people, particularly on safeguarding
  • support in the reporting of suspected abuse
  • access to professional support services
  • fair and equitable treatment by the governing body/club
  • be protected from abuse by children/young people, other adult members and parents/guardians.

Section Six Code of Conduct for Children/Young Players

Coleraine Football Club, Coleraine Football Club Academy and Harry Gregg Foundation is fully committed to safeguarding and promoting the wellbeing of all members. The club believes that it is important that staff/coaches/volunteers and parents/guardians associated with the club/centre should, at all times, show respect and understanding for the safety and welfare of others. Therefore, everyone is encouraged to be open at all times and to share any concerns or complaints that they may have about any aspect of the club with any director, official, manager or coach.

Coleraine Football Club, Coleraine Football Club Academy and Harry Gregg Foundation believes that the organization should offer a positive experience for children/young people where they can learn new things in a safe and positive environment. As a member of Coleraine Football Club or Coleraine Football Club Academy, you are expected to abide by the following code of practice.

Children/young players are expected to:

  • be loyal and give their team mates a second chance
  • be friendly and particularly welcoming to new members
  • be supportive and committed to other team mates, offer comfort when required
  • not get involved in inappropriate peer pressure and push others into something they do not want to do
  • be responsible for their own kit
  • wear appropriate footwear/shin pads
  • bring their own water bottle/fluid
  • keep within the defined boundary of the playing/coaching area
  • behave and listen to all instructions from the coach/volunteers
  • take care of equipment owned by the club
  • refrain from the use of bad language or racial/sectarian references
  • refrain from bullying or persistent use of rough and dangerous play
  • show respect to other players, staff/coaches/volunteers and parents/guardians
  • report inappropriate behaviour
  • play fairly
  • respect officials and accept decisions
  • be gracious in defeat
  • respect opponents and not cheat
  • not use violence
  • arrive on time
  • be collected on time
  • comply with the requirements laid down in the Coleraine Football Club Social Media policy
  • shall not through his/her acts or omissions bring the Club into disrepute or assist or encourage others to do so.

Children/young people have the right to:

  • be safe and happy in football
  • be listened to
  • be respected and treated fairly
  • privacy
  • enjoy football in a protective environment
  • be referred to professional help if needed
  • be protected from inappropriate behaviour/abuse by other club members or outside sources
  • participate on an equal basis, appropriate to their ability
  • experience competition and the desire to win
  • be believed when asking for help.

Any breach of the Code of Conduct for Children/Young Players will be addressed by the immediate coach/volunteer and reported verbally and in writing to the designated Child Protection Officer. If a child/young player continues to breach the Code of Conduct after an initial verbal warning from the immediate coach/volunteer, the following disciplinary action should take place:

  • First Official Warning will be reported to the parent/guardian, both verbally (if practicable) and in writing. Sanction can be up to a two-week suspension.
  • Second Official (final) will be reported to parent/guardian, both verbally (if practicable) and in writing. Sanction should be a minimum of six months suspension.

In more serious or extreme cases there may be no requirement for warnings and the accused person suspended forthwith. However the matter should be referred to the Chairman/deputy. The Chairman/deputy will investigate the matter. The Chairman/deputy will deal with the matter as he/she sees fit taking into consideration all the available evidence and report his actions to the Board of Directors. If he/she feels that the enquiry merits a disciplinary committee to adjudicate on the matter he will refer his findings to the Chairman who will appoint a Disciplinary Committee of three persons.

This committee will contain as a minimum a member of the board of director, a member of staff from the Coleraine Football Club Academy and an independent member of Coleraine Football Club. Independent non-Coleraine Football Club officials may also be seconded to sit on the Disciplinary Committee. They will adjudicate on the issue and inform the parents/guardians in writing of their decision.

Should the parents/guardians wish to appeal the Director’s (Discipline) decision or any of the Disciplinary Committee’s decisions (if applicable) they must do so in writing, by special delivery letter, to the Chairman of Coleraine Football Club, within seven days of receiving official notification from the Chairman/deputy or the Disciplinary Committee.

The decision of the Chairman/deputy/ Disciplinary Committee shall be final and binding on all parties concerned and there will be no further appeals from it.

Declaration:

Signed by player: _____________________________________

Print Name: ________________________________

Parent’s Signature: ______________________________________

Print Name: ______________________________________

Date: ______________________________________

Section Seven Code of Conduct for Parents/Guardians

Parents/guardians are expected to

  • positively reinforce their child and show an interest in their football. Support their child’s involvement and help them to enjoy football
  • not place their child under pressure or push them into activities they do not want to do
  • complete and return the Registration/Consent Form pertaining to their child’s participation;
  • deliver and collect the child punctually to and from coaching sessions/matches punctually
  • ensure their child is properly and adequately attired for the weather conditions
  • ensure that proper footwear and protective equipment are worn at all times. Any child/young person not in possession of the fundamental requirements should not be permitted to participate
  • detail any health concerns pertaining to the child on the consent form, in particular breathing or chest conditions. Any changes in the state of the child’s health should be reported to the coach prior to coaching sessions
  • inform the coach/coordinator if their child has been ill or hurt recently
  • inform the coach prior to departure from the field of play if the child is to be collected early from a coaching session
  • encourage their child to play by the rules and teach them that they can only do their best. Help your child to recognise good performance, not just results
  • acknowledge the importance and role of the club/centre coaches who provide their time free to ensure children’s participation in the club
  • encourage their child to play by the rules and teach them that they can only do their best
  • show appreciation and support the coaches
  • be realistic
  • ensure their child’s hygiene and nutritional needs are met
  • accept the referee/game supervisor’s judgement
  • behave responsibly on the sidelines; do not embarrass your child
  • encourage children to show respect
  • promote their child’s participation in playing football for fun
  • comply with the requirements laid down in the Coleraine Football Club Social Media policy
  • shall not through his/her acts or omissions bring the Club into disrepute or assist or encourage others to do so.

Parents/Guardians have the right to

  • know their child is safe
  • be informed of problems or concerns relating to their children
  • be informed if their child is injured
  • have their consent sought for issues such as trips
  • contribute to decisions within the club
  • speak to the coach/co-coordinator and voice their genuine concerns about the standard of coaching.

Any misdemeanours and breach of this code of conduct will be dealt with immediately by the coach/volunteer. Persistent concerns or breaches will result in the parent/guardian being asked not to attend the club if their attendance is detrimental to the child’s/young person’s welfare. The ultimate action should a parent/guardian continue to breach the code of behaviour may mean the coach/coordinator regrettably asking the child/young person to leave the club.

If the coach decides that it is in the interests of the other children/young person, parents/guardians or Coleraine Football Club then he will report the matter to the Chairman/deputy who will enquire into the matter and inform the coach, the parent/guardian and the Board of Directors of his findings and action taken.

Should the parents/guardians wish to appeal any decisions they must do so in writing, by special delivery letter, to the Chairman of Coleraine Football Club, within 7 days of receiving official notification of suspension or expulsion. The decision of the Chairman/deputy/ Disciplinary Committee shall be final and binding on all parties concerned and there will be no further appeals from it.

Declaration:

I have been made aware of the parents/guardians code of conduct and agree to adhere to it.

Signed: _____________________________________

Print Name: _____________________________________

Name(s) of Child: _____________________________________

Date: _____________________________________

Section Eight: Code of Conduct for Spectators

The crowd at Coleraine Showground does not, nor expected to, watch the game in silence. The Club unreservedly recognises that encouragement of both teams by shouting, cheering and non-abusive singing has a positive influence on the atmosphere and can contribute to the enjoyment and outcome of the match.

Coleraine Football Club is proud of its fans and their good behaviour, and the passion and support they show for their team. The Club will however take steps to prevent people from behaving in a manner likely to jeopardise the safety and enjoyment of others, or to bring discredit on the club.

Any supporter who publicly disparages, discriminates against or denigrates someone in a defamatory manner on account of race, colour, language, religion, ethnic origin, sex or sexual orientation will be subject to investigation and may be evicted from the ground and face further sanctions. This includes the display of offensive banners. If a crime has been committed the offence will also be reported to the police. If you or your fellow supporters hear any abuse of this nature, then please report it to the nearest Steward.

Supporters are asked to refrain from:

  • using sectarian, racist, homophobic, sexually offensive or any other inappropriate language
  • the display of any racist or sectarian emblems or banner
  • Using foul, abusive or insulting language, gestures or threatening behaviour
  • Missile throwing or entering the pitch area
  • behaving in a manner likely to jeopardise the safety and enjoyment of others
  • consume intoxicating liquor to such an extent that he is a nuisance to others and a danger to himself and others
  • shall not through his/her acts or omissions bring the Club into disrepute or assist or encourage others to do so.

Supporters should:

  • respect all players, team attendants and match officials
  • follow directions and instructions given by stewards and club officials
  • respect other supporters
  • comply with current ground rules
  • report breaches of our code to a steward or club official
  • remember to observe the code both at Coleraine Showground and away games
  • support Coleraine Football Club loudly and proudly and in a manner that offends no-one!

Visiting supporters are also to respect our Code of Conduct. All supporters should note that observing the Code of Conduct is a condition of your entry to the ground. Any person not observing the Code may be refused entry to the ground or ejected and may face further sanctions.

Section Nine: Dealing with Complaints/Breaches of the Code

Where anyone wishes to make a complaint against any official, staff member, coach, player or supporter of Coleraine Football Club he will refer the complaint to the Chairman of Coleraine Football Club or any other director who will immediately bring it to the attention of the Chairman.

Criminal allegations will be referred to the police if the complainant agrees however in serious matter the Chairman may still refer the matter to the police even if the complainant objects. Where the complaint is of a criminal nature no disciplinary hearing will take place until the conclusion of criminal proceedings. The Chairman of Coleraine Football Club may suspend the accused person from the club and grounds pending the outcome of the criminal and/or disciplinary hearing if he believes it is in the interest of the public and Coleraine Football Club to do so.

Where the complaint is suitable for further internal investigation by the Chairman/deputy and findings from the investigation necessitate a Disciplinary Committee will be convened.

This committee will contain as a minimum three individuals including a member of the board of directors and an independent member of Coleraine Football Club. Independent non-Coleraine Football Club officials may also be seconded to sit on the Disciplinary Committee. The Chairman of the Disciplinary Committee cannot be the Chairman of the Board of Directors.

The members of the Disciplinary Committee shall determine their own procedures. The Committee will set a date for the hearing of the evidence and give the accused at least 21 days notice in writing of the date, time, the venue of the hearing and an indication of the allegations made against them.

The accused party will be allowed to attend in person or make a written submission. He may also call witnesses in his defence however, if he is attending in person or bringing witnesses he must notify the chairman of the committee in writing at least seven days before the hearing. The onus of proof of posting will be on the accused party.

The committee can hear evidence from witnesses or take their written evidence into account when deliberating on the issue. Any question as to whether any evidence is admissible, or whether any questions should or should not be put to a witness, shall be determined by the Disciplinary Committee.

At any time the Chairman and through him, members of the Committee may ask questions of any of the parties. The Committee may draw such inferences, as it considers appropriate from the failure of the person accused to give evidence or answer a question put to him. CCTV evidence, social media/online content and other evidence may be used by the Committee if available.

The Committee shall consider the evidence and submissions presented to it and determine whether the accused person is on the balance of probabilities guilty or not guilty of the alleged misconduct.

After reaching a decision on the guilt or innocence of the accused person the Committee, if it makes a finding of guilt, shall allow the accused, if present, to address it in terms of any matters of mitigation before imposing sanctions. The accused person if guilty will then be informed of the sanctions (ranging from verbal citation up to and including dismissal) being imposed and this will be confirmed in writing to the accused person within 14 days. Should the accused person not be present then he will be notified in writing within 14 days of the hearing. The person found guilty will be informed in the letter outlining the findings and sanctions that he may appeal in writing to the Chairman of Coleraine Football Club within 14 days of the letter being posted to him. Again, it will be for the person found guilty to show proof of posting should their letter not be received by the Chairman.

The decision at appeal of the Chairman/deputy/ Disciplinary Committee shall be final and binding on all parties concerned and there will be no further appeals from it unless there are specific regulations in IFA policy directing same.