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New Red Card Rule Change Could Turn Matches Into Small-Sided Affairs

The Premier League has a strict message for those confronting officials with disrespectful behavior and language: cut the s***.

The PL, English Football League and Football Association have declared player behavior in England as “intolerable”, and they’re sick and tired as all h*** of it.

Premier League chairman Richard Scudamore said: “We’re looking to make a steep change in the way our participants behave and how they are seen around the world . . . If participant behavior doesn’t improve, then there will be more yellow and red cards . . . The clubs are committed and we are committed to see this through.”

Scenes of players surrounding and making contact with referees have become common place, while the FA is worried about this behavior being copied in youth football.

Red card rule change

"Don't you wave your fingers at me!" Photo: @myBet9ja | Twitter

As such, English lawmakers are adamant that red cards will be given to players who demonstrate that behavior this year. 

“It is our collective position that these types of behavior should no longer be tolerated,” said Scudamore.

As per the BBC, the new guidelines have been summarized as such: 

Offences which could earn players 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
  • A yellow card for at least one player when two or more from a team surround a match official

New red card offences:

  • If a player confronts match officials and uses offensive, insulting or abusive language and/or gestures towards them
  • Physical contact with match officials in an aggressive or confrontational manner

While these new guidelines should certainly be applauded, it remains to be scene whether or not they’ll actually be strictly enforced. 

Every Premier League side has been guilty of what’s appeared to be disrespectful behavior towards referees in the recent past, while managers like Alan Pardew, Atonio Conte, Jurgen Klopp, Pep Guardiola and Jose Mourinho aren’t known to go easy on officials.

Meanwhile, players like Jamie Vardy, Wayne Rooney and Diego Costa will probably be looking towards La Liga with envious eyes. Expect to see Arsenal and Liverpool's early August 14th encounter reduced to a five vs. five small-sided game.

(H/T: BBC)

Follow me on Twitter: @ConmanFleming

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