Referees at Euro 2008 have been instructed to come down hard on players who use excessive force or show dissent.
The 12 referees for this summer’s tournament have been given a six-point list of instructions at the end of a four-day workshop at their Euro 2008 base near Zurich.
The instructions, compiled by UEFA, order referees to “act firmly (red card) against challenges involving excessive force…including the illegal use of arms and elbows.”
UEFA said that players be punished if they showed dissent towards officials.
“Referees can accept a spontaneous expression of frustration from players,” the instructions state, “but will firmly sanction players who show dissent to the referees by word or action.”
The referees have also been instructed to control holding or pushing in the penalty area prior to corners and free kicks, punish “simulation intended to deceive the referee” with yellow cards and deal firmly with group confrontations.
“Any players involved in mass confrontation have to realise that the main protester(s), including any who run over to join in, will get a yellow card.”
The list also confirms that coaches will be “left to do their jobs” in the technical area provided they act responsibly.
“If a coach openly criticises the referee, action will be taken to curb his behaviour,” the instructions added.