Ethics in Football

The compliance with ethical standards plays an essential role in upholding the right behavior in different professions. Equally, football has its set of ethical standards, which the players, match officials, coaches as well as other people involved must adhere to in the course of matches and outside the pitch to ensure there is equality of the players involved. Ethics in football exist to confer respect, integrity, fairness and responsibility to ensure that the outcomes of the matches are acceptable for all teams involved. Through this, adherence to ethical principles that guide the game limits conflict that may arise between teams and promotes the uninterrupted professional growth of the players involved.

Ethics in football is critical for the advancement of fairness in all activities related to the game. According to Hanson and Savage (2017), ethics ensure that coaches and players in a football game adhere to the set rules of the game. The compliance with the rules ensures that there is a level playing field and no team enjoys an advantage arising from unfair practices. Additionally, ethics limits discrimination of some teams by the officiating officers. Such promotes validity of the outcome of a match. For instance, the referee should comply with all the rules of the match when awarding penalties, which promotes fairness and limit conflicts between teams. Outside the pitch, fairness is enhanced by providing equal opportunities to opposing teams.

Ethics in football advance the integrity of the people involved. Conventionally, integrity entails doing things honestly and truthfully in line with existing rules and principles. In the promotion of integrity, adherence to ethical standards ensures that players, referees and coaches do not engage in activities that are not compliant with the rules of the game. For instance, ethics help in the aversion of the use of performance enhancing drugs, bribery and other vices that do not echo honesty and truthfulness in the game (Goodell, 2012). Teams that do not observe ethical principles may bribe referees for favors in the field. This compromises the even playing field that should be apparent in any football game.

Ethics in football confers players and other individuals involved in the game the capacity to take responsibility for their actions. In the field, rules guide the behavior of the players and what match officials have to do should a player compromise any of the rules. Through ethics, a player is expected to accept the punishment for the conduct based on the rules. As such, ethics compels layers to be competent about the rules of the game to be able to respond appropriately and accept responsibility for not behaving in the desired manner (Morgan, 2017).

Lastly, ethics in football fosters respect and guides the relationship between players and coaches of opposing teams as well as persons belonging to the same team. Upholding morality at any given time in the course of playing football limits the tendency of players to act in a manner that may demean or cause harm to other people. For instance, in the course of battling for the ball, a player who believes in ethical principles will avoid aggressive behavior that may cause injuries to the opponents in the pitch (Caplan, Parent & Oxford University Press, 2017). Conversely, the coaches show respect to the players as well as other coaches and avoid the use of disrespectful words towards others even under the influence of emotions. As such, ethics is critical in football.


Caplan, A. L., Parent, B., & Oxford University Press. (2017). The ethics of sport: Essential readings. New York: Oxford University Press.

Goodell, R. (2012). National football league. Journal of safety research, 43(4), 309.

Hanson, K. O. & Savage, M. (2017).  What Role Does Ethics Play in Sports? Santa Clara University. Retrieved from

Morgan, W. J. (2017). Ethics in sport. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics

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