In news that will be sweet music to the ears of rugby fans and that bloke in your local who's always bleating on about the loss of old-fashioned "respect", the Premier League is finally cracking down on abusive conduct towards referees.
A statement issued by the league explains: "The English football authorities have noticed over the past four seasons that intolerable behaviour by players and managers in their competitions have reached unacceptable levels in certain areas. Therefore the Premier League, EFL and The FA have announced a collective undertaking to improve behaviour across the game."
These are the new official instructions that referees are to follow...
Yellow cards will be issued to players who:
- Show visibly disrespectful behaviour to any match official
- Respond aggressively to decisions
- Confront an official face to face
- Run towards an official to contest a decision
Red cards will be issued to players who confront match officials and use offensive, insulting or abusive language and/or gestures towards them
- A yellow card for physical contact with any match official in a non-aggressive manner (e.g. an inquisitive approach to grab the official's attention)
- A red card for physical contact with match officials in an aggressive or confrontational manner
- A yellow card for at least one player when two or more from a team surround a match official
- The FA will continue to sanction teams when they surround match officials
Conduct in the technical area
- The requirements of the Technical Area Code of Conduct will be more rigorously enforced for players and club staff. Additionally, match officials will be required to retain professional detachment from players and club staff at all times
While these rules have definitely been a long time coming, we will sort of miss farcical moments like this in football matches. That's if the new laws are even properly applied.