The Society of Editors has protested to the Football Association over its attempts to ban local newspapers from publishing the results of youth matches.
As reported on HTFP yesterday, the Surrey Mirror was asked by the local FA branch to stop printing the scores of matches featuring teams between the age groups of under-7 and under-11.
In the letter, Surrey County FA chief executive Caroline McRoyall said publishing scorelines was “detrimental to the development of the player and the game”.
The paper has so far ignored the directive, which it is understood followed concerns about “one-sided scorelines” appearing in print.
Now Society of Editors boss Bob Satchwell, left, has now written to FA chairman Greg Dyke – himself a former local newspaper journalist – in protest at the move.
Wrote Bob: “Local papers particularly play an important role in recording young people’s achievements and too often the media is criticised for reporting only their failures, misdemeanours and crimes.
“Sports pages report the positive side of youth and should not be deterred from so doing.”
“While I can appreciate that unusually high scores by one side can be embarrassing, those occasions are not so common as to overide the pride and enjoyment children get from reading their results in the local paper.”
Added Bob. “Football is a competitive game and it is no bad thing for children to learn from an early age that it is about winning. Learning to be a magnanimous winner and a gracious loser is an important lesson in life.
“Hopefully the FA is not among those who seem to prefer hide away the successes of a new generation.”