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Page last updated at 15:26 GMT, Tuesday, 5 August 2008 16:26 UK

FA acts on football referee abuse


Look out for a special cameo at the end of the campaign video

The Football Association has launched an initiative to cut out the dissent aimed at officials in English football.

The 'Respect' programme will encourage team captains to carry extra responsibility by helping referees stamp out dissent during matches.

Referees will be also be encouraged to act to the full powers of the game's laws and not shy from confrontation.

"We are raising the profile of these type of issues," FA chief executive Brian Barwick told BBC Sport.

"There is the general acceptance that football is an integral part of society.

Saj C

"We have to play our part in delivering a positive message about football."

The initiative also asks for improved behaviour in technical areas - cracking down on the removal of offenders, including those who ignore fourth officials' instructions, to the stands.

Premier League chief executive said incidents similar to those of last season involving Chelsea's Ashley Cole, when he turned his back on referee Mike Riley, and Liverpool's Javier Mascherano, who refused to leave the field after being sent off, should never be repeated.

"Football engages, motivates and inspires but we know it can spill over and get ugly," he said.

"We all have responsibility to deal with these excesses and I sense now there is a dedication from all quarters - including the media - to do that.

"We want prevention rather than sanction and we've given credit to the media for playing a major part in the reduction of simulation.

We want this becoming more than just a campaign and results in making unacceptable behaviour just that - unacceptable

Richard Scudamore
Premier League chief

"Now we want to see this programme becoming much more than just a campaign and results in making unacceptable behaviour just that - unacceptable."

The programme comes into affect this weekend to coincide with the start of the Football League season and Sunday's Charity Shield between Manchester United and Portsmouth.

The FA has also produced a light-hearted promotional video, featuring England coach Fabio Capello and a host of football and television stars, to accompany the campaign.

see also
PFA chief demands ref no-go zones
24 Mar 08 |  Football
Benitez backs sent-off Mascherano
23 Mar 08 |  Premier League

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