Explained in football terms: How to intervene if a mate crosses the line

If you’ve got a friend who annoys or hassles women, you could help prevent them going too far by thinking about it in football terms and having a word.

If you look out for your mate on the pitch, do it off the pitch too.

Be aware of your surroundings


The best players can spot a brilliant pass before anybody else. They keep looking to see where everyone is on the pitch and know how to find a teammate. They keep an eye on body language and can spot danger before it happens. You can apply the same techniques when you’re out with your mates. Be aware of where you are and how people are acting around women.

Know when to have a word


When a player won’t stop mouthing off to the ref or the opposition, you know they’re going to get in trouble. A smart teammate will take the guy aside, have a word and tell him he’s heading for a card. Removing a friend from a situation before it escalates is being a good mate and could prevent them from letting the side down.

Block the attacker


Stopping an attacker from reaching a goal can mean putting in a defensive block. A good tactic to stop someone from getting too forward is to literally get in the way. You could put yourself in their line of sight and distract them by talking about something that gets their attention.

Building team spirit


The best teams know they can rely on each other and have great team spirit. If you think that a mate is sometimes out of order around women, you won’t be the only one in the group that thinks the same. A friend’s behaviour shouldn’t make you feel tense and uncomfortable. It can take courage to have a conversation but most men would want a friend to speak to them if they stepped over the line and would see it as an act of support.

A red card for foul play


There comes a time when things go too far. If a pal gets physical with a woman without her consent, that’s serious foul play and a red card. Men need to be clear and firm with friends who act inappropriately and at the end of the day, get the authorities involved.

You can find advice and information on the Police Scotland website
Call Police Scotland on 101 or contact the Rape Crisis Scotland national helpline for free on 08088 01 03 02 (daily 5pm-12 midnight).
In an emergency always call 999.