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Red cards for referee abuse introduced in new Premier League laws - reports

Players swearing at officials could now earn a red card as part of the English top flight’s new laws implemented to combat “intolerable behaviour” on the football field.

The new rule applies to the Premier League, the English Football League. Theses laws, which were outlined by the Football Association to combat "intolerable behaviour" in English football, will no doubt result in numerous suspensions.

At the start of this season, the red cards will now be issued to players who use offensive or abusive language or make gestures at referees and/or officials during football matches.

Yellow cards will be shown to any player who runs to confront an official about a decision while a referee may book at least one player if they are surrounded by two or more team-mates.

Player behaviour in technical areas will also be more strictly enforced as part of an attempt to prevent poor conduct, which the Premier League claims has reached “unacceptable levels.”

The highest number of yellow cards accrued by one team for dissent in the Premier League last season was West Brom, who picked up nine:
"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," said Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore.

"Things happen in the heat of the moment during fast and highly competitive football; 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."

According to the statement, offences, which could earn a yellow card, now include:

- 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
- Physical contact with any match official in a non-aggressive manner
- When two or more players surround a match official (at least one yellow card will be shown)

Red cards will be shown when:

- Players confronting match officials and using offensive, insulting, or abusive language and/or gestures towards them.

- Players using physical contact with officials in an aggressive or confrontational manner.

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