The once-familiar sight of a Premier League referee being surrounded by a group of disgruntled players could soon be a thing of the past.
It comes after new behaviour rules were introduced by the Premier League, Football Association and English Football League as part of a move designed to hand power back to match officials who previously faced intimidation on the pitch.
Under the new guidelines, the following could be deemed yellow card offences by a referee:
- 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
Yet it is the new red card offences that are of the most significance with two new additions to the list of acts that merit immediate dismissal from the field of play:
- 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.
With swearing now well and truly off the menu for Premier League stars, Wayne Rooney could be in for a torrid time.
The “England hero” has been known to utter his fair share of expletives during games down the years and, as his form continues to deteriorate, there could be more to come this season.
Jose Mourinho might want to consider introducing a swear jar.
Loaded staff writer Jack Beresford has produced content for Lad Bible, Axonn Media and a variety of online sports and news media outlets.