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Soccer
Saturday, December 24, 2016
Fifa Discussing Only Captains Can Talk To Referees

IslandStats.com
FIFA is discussing whether to allow only captains to speak to referees, says former Netherlands striker and manager Marco van Basten.

It would bring football in line with rugby union, which has strict rules around in-match communication.

Van Basten, FIFA's chief technical development officer, said there have been talks about how to improve player behavior and respect for officials.

"There are a lot of players now who are complaining during a game," he said.

Speaking to the BBC, the former Ajax and AC Milan forward added: "I am sure the behavior of the players can be better - we are thinking about putting it back in the right direction."

At the start of this season, English football announced plans to reduce "intolerable behavior" by issuing red cards to players who confront match officials, use offensive language or make gestures towards them.

"There's a lot of emotion in the game and that's what's good - but we have to control it also."

Asked about comparisons with rugby, Van Basten replied: "I think we can learn from every sport and they can learn from us - but we have to confront the problem."

In rugby, only the captain is allowed to speak directly to the referee. In return, the referee is asked to communicate directly with the captain only.
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