Last week the Surrey Mirror received a letter from the Surrey County Football Association “advising” the paper to stop printing the scores of games featuring players under the age of 11.
The local FA’s chief executive, Caroline McRoyall, said publishing them is “detrimental to the development of the player and the game”.
What a ridiculous proposal.
One of the key aims of sports pages is to promote youth participation.
For some youngsters, seeing their name or picture in their local newspaper is a right of passage.
Suddenly there is a new message being sent out that younger children do not need to be bogged down by results at a tender age.
It’s utter nonsense to refrain from printing match results.
There’s always two sides to a story and for every side that suffers a heavy loss there’s a team basking in the joy of a big win.
Youngsters seem to be protected from too much nowadays but surely printing match results is a step too far?
It’s time the FA saw common sense.
The powers-that-be are sending out mixed messages.
On one hand they want us to progress as a footballing nation and that inevitably starts from a young age.
However, this latest move strips away all credibility with regards to results.
If a youngster does not learn the art of winning and losing from an early age then it’s fair to say they won’t be overly bothered about the outcome the older they get.
If that mentality continues then where is the hunger to succeed and the desire to overcome opponents?
We want our nation, tiny though it is, to be the best it can possibly be.
If we harbour any hopes whatsoever of once again competing with the giants of world football then that process begins at the very bottom; youth football.
Yet the Football Association continually shoots itself in the foot - and this latest gaffe continues that trend.
It’s about time common sense prevailed and the goalposts stopped moving.