English football adds 'Intolerable Behaviour' rule, and it will change how players treat referees

Thanks to a joint initiative by the Premier League, the Football League, and the Football Association, there will now be stricter rules to cut down on “intolerable behaviour” by players.

A statement released on Wednesday by the three associations encourages match officials to take more of a hardline approach and to take action against any “unacceptable participant conduct.” This includes arguing with referees, gesturing towards referees aggressively, and anything else that could be construed as offensive.

The release calls for players who show “offensive, insulting or abusive language and/or gestures” to be shown a red card. It also calls for players who make non-aggressive contact with match officials to be shown yellow cards (aggressive contact will be met by a red card).

Basically, outward signs of objection toward referees will be met with varying degrees of punishment from here on. This very much mirrors what the NBA did a few years ago when the league instituted rules meant to dissuade players from arguing.

There will likely be issues with the competition, as bookmaker Coral points out:


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