PARENTS watching their children play football are to remain quiet during a ‘Silent Weekend’ next month.

The Lancashire FA said the move was aimed at changing attitudes and behaviour in grassroots youth football.

A number of clubs and leagues, including the East Lancashire Football Alliance, have pledged their support for the initiative.

And leagues who take part will be eligible for a £100 bursary.

Neil Yates, county welfare officer at the LFA, has helped organise the weekend, which takes place on Saturday and Sunday, March 8 and 9.

He said: “Young children tell us they are frightened and intimidated by excessive noise levels. Older players tell us it irritates and angers them and often results in an exchange of words with coaches and parents.”

During games, adults will be expected to refrain from shouting or directly communicating with players and encouraged to only engage in quiet discussion among themselves.

They will also be expected to refrain from ‘advising’ coaches and referees, and applause for both teams will be encouraged. Mr Yates said: “We believe that there will be a very positive response upon reflection by both children and adults.

“It may be a small step in the right direction but we can show that, on this weekend, those who do not share our priorities of inclusion, enjoyment, and respect, are in the absolute minority.