ESFA Discipline

ESFA Discipline

All football now operates under the MATCH BASED disciplinary procedures of The Football Association.  Discipline in Schools’ Football is split into two separate categories:
(1) Representative Football and (2) Inter-School Football.

Cautionable Offences (Yellow Cards)

The Administration fee for cautionable offences is £12.00

Standard Dismissals (Red Cards)

If a player is dismissed from the field of play for a standard red card offence whilst representing his/her District or County SFA, then the suspension will only apply to representative football competition matches (Inter-District or Inter-County). Moreover, if the player is sent off whilst playing for his/her school football team, then the suspension will only apply Inter-School competition matches. Automatic sanctions will commence 7 days after the date of the match. Any claim for “wrongful dismissal /mistaken identity” must generally be made within two days of the date of the game. (The appeal fee will be £30.00)

These sanctions will apply for the following dismissals: –

– Serious Foul Play
– Violent Conduct
– Spitting at an Opponent
– Denies an obvious goal-scoring opportunity by an offence punishable by a free-kick or penalty kick
– Denying an obvious goal-scoring opportunity by deliberately handling the ball
– Use of offensive, insulting or abusive language
– Receiving a Second Caution in a match

The administration fee for these sanctions will be £15.00 + the fine imposed


A Misconduct Charge will be issued where an incident is reported which does not fall under standard dismissal offences or is a serious offence. A Discipline Commission will convene to consider all Misconduct Cases, whether the response to the charge is accepted or denied. If you receive a Misconduct Charge and it is found proven, the suspension is from ALL football. If you are issued with a Misconduct Charge you will receive a charge letter, response form and any evidence that the ESFA has received which we have based our charge upon. You must ensure you respond to the charge within 14 days.

Charges can apply to: – a School/College Association or any participant (e.g. Manager / Coach / Physio / Secretary / Chairperson)

The administration fee for these charges will be £15.00.

Should the participant request a personal hearing this will incur an additional £30.00 personal hearing fee.


The Appeal Fee for all Youth Games is £30.00

The following County/Regional SFA discipline is being managed by ESFA HQ.

Cleveland; Cumbria; Durham; North Yorkshire; West Yorkshire; Northumberland; South Yorkshire; Cheshire; Merseyside; Lancashire; Northern Counties; Herefordshire; Staffordshire; Warwickshire; Derbyshire; Lincolnshire: Northamptonshire; Somerset; Wiltshire; Bedfordshire; Buckinghamshire; Norfolk; Suffolk; Inner London; Middlesex; Surrey; Sussex; London; Kent.

This will also apply any County Schools’ FA managing their own discipline cases must amend their paperwork accordingly to cater for this new procedure.

If you have not received a suspension notice from the ESFA within 10 days of a red card, then you must contact the ESFA immediately. Non-receipt of paperwork is not a valid defence and a charge will be issued if a student plays whilst under suspension to both the School/College and the player.

For further information on the new discipline process look at the The FA’s Discipline Guide which can be viewed at the bottom of the page. It gives guidance on the discipline procedure and administration fee’s. The full FA Discipline handbook can be viewed here.


In the event of any breach of Rule E3 (1) including a reference to any one or more of the following: ethnic origin, colour, race, nationality, faith, gender, sexual orientation, or disability (an “aggravating charge”) resulting in and E3(2) charge the matter must immediately be referred to the ESFA Discipline Department


Sin Bins (Temporary Dismissals) are being introduced to improve the match experience for everyone involved with the game.

To understand more about the process you can undertake a quick course by visiting – this course looks at why the scheme was introduced, and how referees will apply it on the field of play for players and team officials.


For further information please email

Discipline Downloads

Grassroots Discipline Guide – 2022-23

County FA Disciplinary Sanction Guidelines_2022_23

FA Discipline Regulations 22/23

ESFA Yellow Card Report-Form

ESFA Red Card/ Misconduct Report Form

Personal Hearings – Chair’s Checklist

Personal disciplinary hearings for U18s

FA Handbook 22/23


FA Guidance for Match Officials 

Personal Hearings guidance for under 18s

Match officials guide to personal hearings

County witnesses guide to personal hearings

FA Guidance on dealing with discrimination for match officials