UEFA has told its referees to protect players better by clamping down on serious foul play in European club competitions.
UEFA’s chief refereeing officer Pierluigi Collina has asked officials to take firm action against players who commit reckless challenges
In a statement, Collina said: “We need to have players playing, so they must be protected on the field.
“We do not want situations where a player’s future is put in doubt because of serious injury caused by a challenge, whether it is intentional, or is unintentional and the player making the challenge is taking a risk of causing injury.
“Players must understand that they have to respect their opponents and show the same positive behaviour to them that they would want to receive themselves.”
Referees have also been reminded to punish so-called ‘professional fouls’ when players intentionally deny opponents obvious goal-scoring opportunities, and also not to tolerate being pressured into making decisions by groups of players.
“When I see mobbing of a referee, it’s something that is not acceptable — this is not the message that we want the game to convey,” the 57-year-old Italian said.