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More action for "unacceptable behaviour"

Friday 22nd July 2016
New rules have been imposed to reduce "intolerable behaviour" from both players and coaches within the English game as The FA, Premier League and the English Football League all agreed poor conduct has reached unacceptable levels.

From the start of the upcoming season, a range of new rules involving player and coach conduct have been instated to ensure their behaviour is kept in accord.
It's no secret that so often in games players can surround and pressure an official for a decision they perhaps do not agree with, and the same can be said for managers and coaches alike too. The occasions of which this behaviour has occurred is almost uncountable, so often do we see an official disrespected within a game even in the slightest of manners.

The new rules are as follows:

Offences which can earn a yellow card





  • Visibly disrespectful behaviour to any match official;


  • An aggressive response to decisions;


  • Confronting an official face to face;


  • running towards an official to  contest a decision;


  • offensive, insulting or abusive language and/or gestures towards match officials;


  • Physical contact with any match official in a non-aggressive manner;


  • At least one player will be yellow carded when two or more from a team surround an official.




Red card offences





  • If a player confronts match officials and uses offensive, insulting or abusive language and/or gestures towards them;


  • physical contact with officials in an aggressive and confrontational manner.


The new rules certainly show intent from each English football's three main governing bodies, clearly showing their concern for what they see as a growing issue across each division. These rules will look to eradicate such a problem and see more respect shown towards officials and in turn more respect between players and coaches alike. Premier League chairman Richard Scudamore said there has been concern for some time. "It is our collective position that these types of behaviour should no longer be tolerated." It's certainly a bold move to impose such rules and take action on such a problem within the game. Now though such rules must be used with full force, in order to show their intent means business or risk being made a mockery. If after the first few matchdays of the season these rules seem to disband, the entire plan of reducing unacceptable behaviour is reduced to rubble.

Yes, the new rules are very welcome in the plan to increase both respect within the game and upkeep English football's reputation, but unless these new rules and the new regime of improving behaviour are continued in the long term, complacency will creep in and players will begin to revert back to their old ways.

Of course, the leagues are not filled with some sort of barrage of abuse for one another and the officials each week, definitely not, but if the rules are now there they cannot be forgotten and discarded if it seems the job is done.

With the new rules now in place ready for the upcoming season players will certainly think twice before they look to confront a referee and voice their own opinion on a certain issue. It's not to say they won't speak to an official what so ever, but they will certainly have to keep their emotions and anger in check the next time they have a difference of opinion, or face falling victim to what could be very strict rulings indeed.
Ryan Stewart

23 years old, Sport Journalism graduate living in Salford. Work in web content in Media city and always looking to break in to sports writing. Manchester United season ticket holder.


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