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Child Protection

There has been much talk about whether it’s
safe to take pictures of under 18s playing sport.
The FA would like to assure parents, carers,
coaches, spectators, players and local media
that we encourage the taking of appropriate
images of children in football.
Potential risks
The FA has developed this guidance to help avoid the
• The inappropriate use, adaptation or copying of
images for use on child abuse websites on the
internet (often referred to as pornography sites);
• The identification of children when a photograph is
accompanied by significant personal information
that will assist a third party in identifying the child.
This can lead, and has led, to children being
‘groomed’; and
• The identification and locating of children in
inappropriate circumstances which include: (i)
where a child has been removed from his/her
family for their own safety; (ii) where restrictions on
contact with one parent following a parental
separation exist e.g. in domestic violence cases; (iii)
in situations where a child may be a witness in
criminal proceedings; or (iv) other safeguarding
children concerns. The majority of images taken are
appropriate and taken in good faith. If we take the
following simple measures we can help to ensure
the safety of children in football.
Common sense considerations to ensure
everyone’s safety:
1. share The FA’s guidance on taking images with all
parents, carers and members when they join
the club;
2. ensure the club has parental consent to use a
player’s image if it is to be used in the public
domain e.g. club website or newspaper article.
This is essential in relation to point 3 below;
3. ensure that any child in your club who is under
care proceedings is protected by ensuring that
their image is not placed in the public domain. This
can be done by using an Annual Consent Form, so
that parents/carers can identify whether this applies
to children in their care;
4. focus on the activity rather than the individual;
5. ensure all those featured are appropriately dressed
(a minimum of vest or shirt and shorts);
6. aim to take pictures which represent the broad
range of youngsters participating safely in football
e.g. boys and girls, disabled people, ethnic minority
communities; and
7. report any instances of inappropriate images in
football to The FA Case Manager or the Internet
Watch Foundation (IWF). Contact details can be
found on the following page.
1. publish photographs with the full name(s) of the
individual(s) featured unless you have written
consent to do so and you have informed the
parents as to how the image will be used;
2. use player profiles with pictures and detailed
personal information on websites;
The Football Association
Safeguarding Children Best
Practice Guidelines
Celebrating Football Through Photographs and Video
3. use an image for something other than that which it
was initially agreed, e.g. published in local press
when initially produced for a clubhouse
commemorative picture; and
4. allow images to be recorded in changing rooms,
showers or toilets - this includes the use of mobile
phones that record images.
• It’s not an offence to take appropriate photographs
in a public place even if asked not to do so;
• No one has the right to decide who can and cannot
take images on public land;
• If you have serious concerns about a possible
safeguarding children issue relating to the
recording of images then call the Police. This action
should only be taken where you believe that
someone may be acting unlawfully or putting a
child at risk;
• The land or facility owner can decide whether or
not photography and/or videoing at football
activities will be permitted when carried out on
private land. However, you will need to make this
known before allowing individuals access to the
private property;
• Try not to use images that include individuals
wearing jewellery (as wearing jewellery whilst
playing is contrary to the Laws of the Game as well
as being a health and safety issue).
Commissioning professional photographers and
the local media
If you are commissioning professional photographers or
inviting the press to cover a football activity, ensure you
and they are clear about each other’s expectations.
Remember the key is to plan ahead and communicate
early on.
• Provide a clear brief about what is considered
appropriate in terms of content and behaviour;
• Inform them of your club’s commitment to
safeguarding children and young people. Establish
who will hold the recorded images and what they
intend to do with them, e.g. place on a website
for sale, distribute thumb nails to the club to
co-ordinate sales;
• Issue the professional photographer with
identification, which must be worn at all times;
• Inform participants and parents or carers prior to
the event that a professional photographer will be
in attendance and ensure you have established that
no under 18s will be compromised due to
safeguarding children concerns if their image is
taken – remember this can be done by using the
Annual Consent Form at the start of the season.
To report potentially unlawful materials on the internet
please contact:
The Internet Watch Foundation
Telephone: 08456 008844
Fax the hotline: 01223 235921
FA Case Management
The Football Association
Safeguarding Children Best
Practice Guidelines
Celebrating Football Through Photographs and Video


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