Monday, February 11, 2008

Uefa Tell Referees To Get Tough

Referees who were invited to the European governing body's annual mid-term meeting in Cyprus last week were told that overly aggressive challenges that threaten the safety of an opponent warrant a straight red card.

Officials were also instructed to clamp down on group confrontations by acting swiftly before the situation escalates and not hesitating to issue yellow cards, particularly when players run a considerable distance to get involved.

"The players involved have to realise, 'If I approach this incident, I get a yellow card,"' former referee turned Uefa instructor Hugh Dallas told The Observer.

"The referees are charged with a responsibility of protecting the players' safety. The players have got to feel safe on the field of play," he added.

Dallas also said that he believes that the illegal use of arms and elbows is also becoming "more and more dangerous."

Uefa are, however, pleased with what they see as progress in the area of holding, pushing and pulling shirts in the penalty area with no less than five penalties given for the offence in the Champions League group stage.

The referees were also given instructions to be equally firm with player dissent and the business of asking for opponents to be booked by the waving of imaginary cards.

And, from this month, assistant referees will be positioned closer to the tunnel when the half-time and full-time whistles are blown in an effort to prevent trouble between the two sets of players as they make their way back to the changing rooms.
Finally, with Uefa president Michel Platini remaining firmly opposed to the idea of a 'video referee', TV monitors are to be removed from technical areas for all Uefa matches.

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