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New Premier League rules stress on player behaviour, give referees more power

Players will be booked if their behaviour on the pitch or technical area is unacceptable to the referee

Premier League rules referee yellow red cards
Players will no longer be allowed to surround or confront the referee to protest decisions

Perennial offenders in the Premier League will have to watch themselves when the 2016/17 season kicks off in August after the governing body announced a new set of regulations. In a bid to protect match officials from unwanted protests and physical contact from players, the Premier League, the English Football League (EFL) and the Football Association (FA) came together to reduce “intolerable behaviour”.

The move gives the Professional Game Match Officials (PGMO) more power to punish offenders who cross the line when it comes to acceptable behaviour on the pitch. The move could see more red cards dished out if players do not fall in line. The new rules will not just be enforced on the pitch. Even players, managers or club officials in the technical area guilty of any offences listed will also be punished. 

The EPL’s Executive Chairman Richard Scudamore said: “We and our clubs have been discussing for some time concerns that certain elements of player behaviour are overstepping the mark and it is our collective position that these types of behaviour should no longer be tolerated.

“Things happen in the heat of the moment during fast and highly competitive football,” he continued. “We still want to see the passion fans enjoy and demand, but players and managers have to be aware there are lines that should not be crossed.”

Players will no longer be allowed to show dissent without being shown a yellow card. Rushing en masse to the referee to protest decisions will also see players getting yellow carded. 

The last few seasons have seen players warned or reprimanded for protesting decisions but they have always gotten away with just a yellow card as the maximum punishment. That will no longer be the case.

An attempts to physically jostle the referee or similar contact will see the player sent off with the referee given the authority to give the player a straight red card. The instance of Eden Hazard kicking a ball boy comes to mind and Chris Foy had no hesitation in sending off the Blues forward. 

Offences that will be punished

- Disrespectful behaviour towards match officials

- Aggressive responses to decisions made by the referee/linesmen

- Face-to-face confrontations with match officials

- Rushing towards match officials to protest decisions and surrounding the referee

- Physical contact with the referee in an aggressive or confrontational manner will lead to the player being sent off (red card)

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