Nationwide Building Society today makes a stand for a better society as it signs a three-year partnership to support The Football Association of Wales (FAW) Fair Play Award. This initiative reinforces the importance of mutual respect on and off the pitch, encouraging a reduction in on-field misconduct and promotes the FAW Fair Play Code across the Cymru Leagues, Welsh Premier Women’s League and the Ardal Leagues.
Britain’s biggest building society is committed to investing in and improving communities across the UK and hopes that it can use its position as a mutual organisation owned by its members and one of the UK’s largest financial services providers to enhance The FA of Wales initiative.
The FA of Wales Fair Play initiative rewards players and clubs who demonstrate mutual respect and fair play in the National Leagues. The good name of football has survived because the vast majority of people who love the game are honest and fair. As a result, the FAW honour and publicise these examples through their Fair Play Award, rewarding clubs who are making a significant contribution to improving the behavioural standards in football.
Research from Nationwide shows that the UK is experiencing increased levels of disrespect, with 66 per cent of people surveyed saying levels have become unacceptable and 71 per cent feeling that the problem has got worse in the last two years.
Football remains a critical indicator for how wider Society feels and acts, with there being a strong link between encouraged positive behaviour on and off the pitch. There has been an increase of 6% from last season in the number of red/yellow cards issued FAW research has found. And with football being by far the biggest team sport in the UK, Nationwide believes it can make a real difference through its support.
Sara Bennison, Nationwide Chief Marketing Officer, said: “2020 has not been the year any of us expected. So much distress. But we have also had a sharp reminder of how dependent on each other we all are. Fostering greater mutual respect becomes more important than ever. Supporting The FA of Wales on this campaign is truly exciting - by promoting the message of mutual respect in a meaningful and major way we hope we can play our part in encouraging a greater sense of community.”
Jonathan Ford, CEO FA of Wales, said: “The aim of the Nationwide Building Society FAW Fair Play Initiative is to encourage a reduction in on-field misconduct. It is a great way to reward the clubs in the National Leagues who have the best disciplinary record for on-field offences in their division. Football has the power to transform communities and we are excited about our new partnership with Nationwide Building Society”
In addition to The FAW Fair Play partnership, Nationwide has also signed deals with the Football Association of England, Scottish Football Association and Irish Football Association so that every UK home nation is supported.