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Denmark: Using humour to promote Fair Play

The Danish FA (DBU) has launched the Raab Paent! (Shout Respectfully!) campaign.

Stig Tøfting
Stig Tøfting fodboldbilleder.dk

Lack of respect for referees, coaches and players is a problem that requires continued focus. A new survey among Danish football referees shows that a majority have experienced negative behaviour and shouting on the pitch. There are also continuing examples in the media of referees and players being subjected to unacceptable behaviour.

In response, the Danish FA (DBU) launched the Raab Paent! (Shout Respectfully!) campaign. A humorous film on social media with former national team player Stig Tøfting in the lead role is one of the key elements of the campaign.

Understanding Fair Play

Tøfting was known for his fiery temper earlier in his career. However, since then, he has gained more understanding of fair play on the field. He has learned to be neither too polite nor too kind, but to be someone that people can relate to.

Clubs can order fair play materials such as posters and stickers to raise awareness of the theme. The goal is to influence and change behaviour and attitude, knowing that it will take more than one campaign to do so.

Therefore, efforts in this direction must go on. The DBU has continuously focused on respect and fair play, and it recently drew up a code of conduct to formalise the fair play principles. In addition, the sanctions have been tightened, resulting in several Danish top-division clubs receiving historically high penalties and fines in 2019 and 2020 for homophobic chanting and insults from their fans and players, which hopefully will have a preventive effect and lead to more fair play and respect in the future.

This article originally appeared in UEFA Direct 196