Children in football: Seen but not heard

Andy Pitchford (Lead Author), Celia Brackenridge, Joy D. Bringer, Claudi Cockburn, Gareth Nutt, Zofia Pawlaczek, Kate Russell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Although the academic analysis of association football continues to proliferate, the experiences of children in this context appear to be of marginal concern to researchers and policy makers. Drawing on developments in the sociology of childhood and a review of football literature, this article analyses data from the first year of the English Football Association’s (FA) Child Protection Research Project, a five-year programme commissioned by the FA in order to assess
the impact of their child protection policies and measures in both the professional and amateur game. The article argues for a new agenda for football-related research which challenges the problematic assumptions of many adult stakeholders, and which prioritizes research strategies that empower young football players at all levels of the sport.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)43-60
Number of pages18
JournalSoccer & Society
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2004


  • children
  • football
  • Child protection

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