FFA and ACCC kick off game plan for young footballers' safety

Football Federation Australia (FFA) has partnered with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) to help keep kids and teenagers safe around football goals.

Football Federation Australia (FFA) has partnered with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) to help keep kids and teenagers safe around football goals.

“FFA is proud to be part of this important safety awareness campaign that affects everyone in the football community,” FFA Chief Executive Ben Buckley said.

Melbourne Victory captain and safe goalposts ambassador Adrian Leijer said, “Unsafe football goals can kill. If I didn-t stay safe during my growing years, I wouldn-t be where I am today.”

Football coaches, teachers, parents and volunteers as well as sports associations, football clubs and local councils are being urged by the FFA and ACCC to "Anchor, Check, Respect" their goalposts after growing concerns in Australia and worldwide about the safety of moveable football goals.

“With at least seven deaths in Australia, plus an injury leading to a person becoming paraplegic, it-s critical that moveable goals are safe and correct and treated with respect - both on and off the game,” ACCC Deputy Chair Delia Rickard said.

Unstable moveable football goals have been associated with at least 40 deaths and a range of serious injuries worldwide, plus the recent death of a 10-year-old boy in the United States in 2011. Deaths and injuries are caused by blunt force injuries and trauma to the head, neck, chest and limbs.

Moveable goals can be popular as they-re able to be relocated and used on different fields.

The safety concerns mainly lie with those that weigh 28 kilograms or more.

“If you-re involved with kids- soccer and moveable goalposts are used, make sure they-re anchored securely and correctly into the ground, and then check that they are stable before they-re used. If they-re not safe, don-t use them,” Ms Rickard said.

Leijer, who features in the new video Anchor, Check, Respect: The Game Plan for Moveable Soccer Goal Safety, also urges adults to ensure moveable Football goals are safe “not just during games: kids will be kids, so please keep in mind that goalposts need respect at all times”.

“We are calling on everyone involved in kids- soccer to watch the video, order the DVD and download the brochure and poster - all available on the website www.productsafety.gov.au/soccergoals,” Ms Rickard said.

“That way, you can follow the three key safety steps anchor, check and respect to help ensure football is a safe activity for everyone involved.”

Safety material will be distributed to schools, kids- sports clubs and associations as well as local councils across Australia over the coming weeks.

These safety steps are also outlined below.

Anchor, Check, Respect - the safety steps

Anchor Anchor the moveable football goalposts securely into the ground. It takes 200 kilograms, which equals: - 10 stakes - 12 bags of sand, or - 10 bags of cement mix.

Check Check the goalposts. Before every game or training session, test that the moveable football goals are properly secured and safe to use. - Ensure there are no children around the goalpost. - Shake the goalpost using both hands and push it from behind. - If the goal post falls, don-t use it until it has been properly secured.

Don-t use it if it-s not safe.

Respect - Ensure that no one climbs, swings or plays on a moveable goalpost. - Store the moveable goalposts safely when not in use.

Click here to download the safe goals poster or here for the safety guide.