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Page last updated at 21:03 GMT, Tuesday, 12 August 2008 22:03 UK

Terry pledges to respect referees

John Terry
Terry admitted in the past he has "overstepped" the mark

Chelsea captain John Terry has promised to give his full support to the Premier League plan to promote better player behaviour towards referees.

Last season, Chelsea defender Ashley Cole turned his back on referee Mike Riley while being booked, prompting a huge media and public outcry.

"Obviously the game's very passionate and we don't want to take that away," Terry told BBC Radio 5 Live.

"But there has to be that respect and communication," he added.

The Premier League scheme follows a similar move last week by the Football Association.

Under the Premier League scheme dubbed "Get on with the game" captains will have more responsibility for team discipline.

"I think now we're getting a level playing field," said Terry.

"We’re all looking for that consistency across the board from the players, the referees and from the panel who're making these decision so everyone has a big role not just the players."

We've all seen where we want to go and stop surrounding referees

John Terry

Terry admitted that in the past the behaviour of Premier League players could have been better.

"I think it's unfair to single out Chelsea or myself - there've been hundreds of occasions where other teams and other players as well as myself and Chelsea have overstepped the mark.

"I think we all hold our hands up to that."

Launching the scheme, Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore agreed that all parties needed to improve.

He said: "We have reached the stage where the whole situation needs correcting.

"At times, and this came into sharp focus last season, incidents crop up where the mark is overstepped and player and manager behaviour can become unacceptable.

Saj C

"The referees have a responsibility, too. In forging better relationships with team captains, and the other players and by communicating in the right way, it will help the players and that will make the game better for everyone.

"We need the excesses skimming off the top. It is difficult to say that without making it appear that we are trying to sanitize everything.

"That is not what we are saying at all. We want the passion and rivalries - what we don't want is some of that blatant disrespect and abuse."

Terry welcomed the clarity in the new guidelines after being uncertain about who can approach referees without it appearing to be a hostile approach.

"We've all seen where we want to go and stop surrounding referees - the respect is definitely there," he said.

"Referees have got a tough job and don't have access to replays. We realize that.

"It won't be matey matey now - there will still be the tempo, the aggression that makes this the best league in the world. The Premier League is the best for those reasons and we need to get a balance."

see also
Mascherano fails to overturn ban
10 Apr 08 |  Liverpool
Terry backs referee respect plans
23 Mar 08 |  Football

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