FA to launch bold initiative to stop match referee abuse

FA to launch bold initiative to stop match referee abuse

The English FA will begin an anti-abuse campaign next week in response to a disturbing uptick in incidents of referee abuse from players and coaches.

The idea has received backing from the Premier League, the English Football League, and the Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL). According to The Times, the campaign runs under the FA’s “Love football, Protect the Game” slogan. It is part of an ambitious “full reset” of the sport.

The campaign will expand on one begun last year in an effort to change spectator behavior, with a particular emphasis on words chosen to counteract chants that reference catastrophes like Hillsborough and the Munich air crash.

Similar campaign was introduced in 2008

The FA just implemented new regulations for amateur play. Teams may be penalized points for the abuse of officials. Therefore, this movement extends into the grassroots of the sport in England. Meanwhile, this one will be reminiscent of the FA’s 2008 ‘Respect’ initiative, which aimed to teach proper conduct on the field while also serving as an inspiration to the sport’s youngest players.

FA countering referee abuse across the board

Also, The Times reported 13 charges against Premier League teams for mass conflict in the 2022-23 season. There were no such accusations in 2021/22. Some of the clubs were Tottenham, Manchester United, Liverpool, and Everton.

Additionally, the FA filed 17 accusations against teams for players crowding the referee in 2022-23. This is up from six in the previous campaign. The number of technical area misconduct accusations increased to 11 in 2022-23 from only one the year before.

Cautioning for dissent also rose across the EFL. In 2021/22, referees issued 477 yellow cards for dissent. This past season, referees gave out 547 dissent-based yellow cards in the top divisions of English soccer. The Premier League yielded 87 red cards for protests. Meanwhile, the Championship had 134, League One had 168 and League Two had 158.

In fact, officials sent Fulham’s coach Marco Silva to the stands twice for berating referees last season. He joined Brighton’s Roberto De Zerbi and Liverpool’s Jürgen Klopp. Both earned two yellow cards and two touchline suspensions for the same offense.

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