Match officials need to be aware that to a Sikh, touching their head covering (patka or turban) without their permission is an offensive act (as it is a religious article of faith) and should this occur and seen by the match official it should be considered a red card offence. Patkas are often tied at the back and, if this is pulled or touched in an improper manner, regardless of any potential reaction, it is an offence classified as S6 using offensive, insulting or abusive language and/or action(s), and the offender must be dismissed.

Please be sensitive to the specific nature of this type of incident and deal with it appropriately.  In addition to any disciplinary action taken, an Extraordinary Incident Report should be submitted.

Should a referee require clarification as to whether a headscarf worn by a player is a religious article of faith, we would advise the match official to speak to the individual prior to the match.

The FA will consider further guidance relating to other forms of religious headwear worn by other participants in the game.

Our Partnerships

Partnerships are often formed between individuals, agencies or organisations with a shared interest to address specific issues. Our evidence reveals that our members young and old often require mental, emotional, financial, medical help, support and guidance. The Referees’ Association champion the work of those agencies that provide this support in times of need. Should you require support please contact the relevant agency below or the RA Head Office.
Learn more

Join the Referees Association

The National RA recommends that prospective members should join through their local LRA, the easiest way being to attend one of the many local association meetings that take place across the country on a regular (usually monthly) basis. Find your nearest branch now.

Alternatively, online membership is now available for any referee who wishes to take up central membership. The National RA will then allocate you a local branch. Join now.