NZF Code of Conduct

New Zealand Football


Code of Conduct

Explanatory Foreword

The purpose of this Code of Conduct is to encourage fair, ethical treatment of all persons and organisations that come under the umbrella of New Zealand Football (NZF).  Obviously some sections of the Code will be more applicable to some persons and groups than others.

All persons will agree to abide by the NZF Code of Conduct and acknowledge that any breach of the Code of Conduct, or any part of it, may result in disciplinary action under the NZF Constitution, Regulations and Policies.

The following Code of Conduct applies to all NZF members and persons participating in NZF activities.

As a NZF member and/or participant you should meet the following requirements with regard to your conduct during any NZF sanctioned activity:

  • Respect the rights, dignity and worth of others.
  • Be fair, considerate and honest in all dealings with others.
  • Be professional in, and accept responsibility for, your actions.
  • Make a commitment to providing quality service and performance.
  • Be aware of, and maintain, an uncompromising adherence to, standards, rules, regulations and policies.
  • Operate within the Constitution, Regulations, Policies and Procedures of NZF and FIFA.
  • Understand the possible consequences of breaching the NZF Code of Conduct.
  • Immediately report any breaches of NZF members to the appropriate authority.
  • Comply with any and all applicable national or local legislation.
  • Refrain from any form of abuse towards others.
  • Refrain from using any obscene language.
  • Refrain from any form of harassment towards others.
  • Refrain from any form of discrimination towards others.
  • Refrain from any form of victimisation towards others.
  • Reject corruption, drugs, racism, violence and other dangers to our sport.
  • Promote the interests of football.  
  • Provide a safe environment for the conduct of activity in accordance with relevant NZF policy.
  • Show concern and caution towards others who may be sick or injured.
  • Be a positive role model.
  • Do not provide comment to any media, or publish any comment (including on any website), on behalf of New Zealand Football or its Federations.
  • Do not speak to any media in a negative way, or publish any negative comment (including on any website) regarding New Zealand Football or any of its Federations.
  • Never act in any way that may bring disrepute or disgrace to NZF members, its stakeholders and/or its sponsors, potential sponsors and/or partners.
  • Do not participate (or benefit from assisting others involved) in sports betting or gambling activity associated with football matches and/or football results in which you are participating or have been directly involved in.

New Zealand Football expects all members, supporters, advisors, staff and associates of NZF to abide by a Code of Conduct that upholds the principles and values of the organisation and the NZF Member Protection Policy. Members should recognise that at all times, they have a duty of care to all NZF members.

In addition a  

Team Manager will:

  • Be responsible for the overall welfare and well being of team members and officials when travelling with a team.
  • Maintain a ‘duty of care’ towards team members and be accountable for the management of the team.
  • Have a sound working knowledge of NZF Constitution, Regulations and Policies, and ensure that the conduct of the affairs of the team is in accordance with these and or any other policies and guidelines determined by NZF.
  • Foster a collaborative approach to the management of the team.

Referee will:



  • Officiate matches in a fair, safe manner that ensures spectator enjoyment and player safety.
  • Know the Laws of the Game and their interpretations thoroughly.
  • Condemn unsporting behaviour and promote respect for all opponents.
  • Be a good sport.
  • Keep up to date with the latest trends in officiating.
  • Give all people a ‘fair go’ regardless of their gender, ability, cultural background or religion.
  • Maintain physical fitness for peak performance.
  • Keep all appointments assigned to and accepted by them.
  • Conduct themselves in a way that is ethically and morally beyond reproach.
  • Support fellow officials.
  • Grant players and coaches dignity and self respect.

Member1, Administrator2, Associate3 will:
1 A Member shall include a club member, whether active or social, or life member of any affiliated club, organisation or Federation.

2 An Administrator shall include any person who is in an elected or appointed administrative capacity, whether paid or a volunteer, at an affiliated football club, affiliated organisation or Federation.

3 An Associate shall include any person so determined by the Board of NZF.

  • Encourage their members and spectators (as appropriate) to abide by the Code of Conduct and take reasonable steps to ensure such compliance.
  • Be fair, considerate and honest with others.  
  • Be professional in all actions.  
  • Ensure language, presentation, manner and punctuality reflect high standards.  
  • Resolve conflicts fairly and promptly through established procedures.  
  • Maintain strict impartiality.  
  • Maintain a safe environment for others.

Coach will:


  • Respect the rights, dignity and worth of every individual player as a human being and:        
  • Treat everyone equally regardless of gender, disability, ethnicity or religion.
  • Respect the talent, developmental stage and goals of each player in order to help each player reach their full potential.
  • Maintain high standards of integrity.
  • Operate within the rules of football and in the spirit of fair play, while encouraging players to do the same.
  • Advocate a sporting environment free of drugs and other performance enhancing substances within the guidelines of the New Zealand Sports Drug Agency.
  • Not disclose any confidential information relating to their players without written prior consent.

Be a positive role model for the sport and the players and act in a way that projects a positive image of coaching viz:


  • Provide all players with the equal attention and opportunities they deserve.
  • Ensure the time spent with their player(s) is a positive experience.
  • Be fair, considerate and honest with players.
  • Encourage and promote a healthy lifestyle – refrain from smoking, drinking alcohol and engaging in poor lifestyle choices around players.

Show professional responsibility:


  • Display high standards in language, manner, punctuality, preparation and presentation.
  • Display control, courtesy, respect, honesty, dignity and professionalism to all involved within the sphere of sport - this includes opponents, coaches, officials, administrators, the media, parents and spectators.  
  • Encourage their players to demonstrate the same qualities.
  • Be professional and accept responsibility for their actions.
  • Refrain from initiating a relationship with a player and also discourage any attempt by a player to initiate a sexual relationship with them, explaining the ethical basis of the refusal.
  • Accurately represent personal coaching qualifications, experience, competence and affiliations.
  • Refrain from criticism of other coaches.

Make a commitment to providing a quality service to their players:


  • Seek continual improvement through ongoing coach education and other personal and professional development opportunities.
  • Provide players with planned and structured training programmes appropriate to their needs and goals.
  • Seek advice and assistance from professionals when additional expertise is required.
  • Maintain appropriate records.
  • Provide a safe environment for training and competition:
  • Adopt appropriate risk management strategies to ensure that the training and/or competition environment is safe.
  • Ensure equipment and facilities meet safety standards.
  • Ensure equipment, rules, training and the environment are appropriate for the age, physical and emotional maturity, experience and ability of the players.
  • Show concern and caution toward sick and injured players.
  • Allow further participation in training and competition only when appropriate.
  • Encourage players to seek medical advice when required.
  • Provide a modified training programme where appropriate.
  • Maintain the same interest and support toward sick and injured players.

Protect players from any form of personal abuse:        



  • Refrain from any form of verbal, physical and emotional abuse towards players.
  • Refrain from any form of sexual and racial harassment, racial vilification and harassment on the grounds of disability.
  • Ensure that any physical contact with players is appropriate to the situation and necessary for the player's skill development.
  • Be alert to any forms of abuse directed towards players from other sources while in their care.

Player will:

  • Play to win but play fair.
  • Never argue with or verbally abuse an official; observe the Laws of the Game.
  • Accept defeat with dignity.
  • Conduct themselves in a sportsman-like manner and respect fellow players, coaches, managers and referees and the achievement of opponents.
  • Not bully or take an unfair advantage of another competitor.
  • Cooperate with their coach, manager, team mates and opponents.

In addition, Players in NZS teams will:



  • Refrain from possessing and/or consuming prohibited substances while in NZF camps or on tours.
  • Not consume or purchase alcohol and tobacco while in NZF camps or on tours without the agreement of the Team Manager and Head Coach.
  • Comply with training, competition, curfew and behaviour requirements, directed by NZF, while in camp or on tours.

Parent/Guardian will:



  • Agree to abide by the Code of Conduct.
  • Remember that children participate in sport for their enjoyment, not the parents.
  • Encourage children to participate and not force them.
  • Focus on the child’s efforts and performance rather than winning or losing.
  • Encourage children always to compete according to the rules and to settle disagreements without resorting to hostility or violence.
  • Never ridicule or yell at a child for making a mistake or losing a competition.
  • Remember that children learn best by example.
  • Support all efforts to remove verbal and physical abuse from sporting activities.
  • Respect officials’ decisions and teach children to do likewise.
  • Show appreciation for coaches, officials and administrators.

New Zealand Football expects all Federations, clubs, organisations, employees, members, referees, administrators, associates, coaches, players, volunteers and parents or guardians to understand the possible consequences of breaching the Code of Conduct and ensure that they abide by the Code.

Any serious breaches of this Code of Conduct, or persistent violations of any aspect of the Code of Conduct, by any of the above may result in any of the following being imposed:

  • Suspension
  • Good behaviour bond
  • Fines
  • Loss of competition points
  • Loss of match



Download the NZF Code of Conduct in PDF format or Word format.

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