Parents warned not to cheer kids playing football but clap – and not speak

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    The FA are launching a new initiative to encourage parents not to make noise during kids' football matches.

    They're calling it Silent Support Weekend and it's designed to stop mums, dads and coaches from getting too aggressive on the touchline in an attempt to "reduce pressure" on the players.

    As positive as that sounds, eyebrows were raised after parents were told not to cheer or even speak to one another, with "applause for good play" the only verbal interaction allowed.

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    "This weekend actions speak louder than words," a leaked email to one parent reads. "We're encouraging spectators and coaches to show their support during the match through applause only.

    "This will reduce pressure and confusion and give players a better opportunity to find their own voice and develop their game. So, all you have to do is not talk, you can applaud good play from both teams, and then tell us your thoughts about the experience so we can feed into a national campaign to make improvements for the future."

    The FA's refereeing department released a video to promote the initiative featuring kids aggressively encouraging their parents with supposed parental buzz-phrases like 'remember what we practiced' and 'your technique is rubbish' as they go about their day jobs – from cutting hair to giving a presentation in the office.

    Is Silent Support Weekend a good idea? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.

    Although there was a smattering of support, the majority of respondents on social media seemed to be critical of the plan, with one user even branding it "pathetic".

    "Who in the entire world of football wants a match to be silent?" one person tweeted, while a second said: "Nice motivation, dumb execution." A third said: "Stupid idea. Absolutely pathetic."

    However, others disagreed, with one pointing out: "It will be interesting to see how the children respond without coaches guiding them. I actually think this is a good idea as sometimes there are just too many voices from the sidelines. Just let children play and have fun."

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