European football news

Collina: Straight reds for protests

August 25, 2011

Players who mob referees to protest against decisions could face instant red cards in the future, according to UEFA's chief refereeing officer Pierluigi Collina.

Pierluigi Collina
GettyImagesPierluigi Collina wants to see the end of players mobbing referees

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Collina revealed there would be tougher action than ever when players surrounded officials.

The Italian said: "We don't want to see referees mobbed by players, where players run from long distances to crowd the ref. This could even be punished by a red card. Certainly one of the things we need to improve is stopping this kind of behaviour. It's not nice to see.''

Collina said that referees in the two European club competitions were being aided by the extra assistant referees standing behind each dead-ball line, and that serious foul play would not be tolerated.

He added: "Referees have been instructed to protect the players. We don't need doctors on the pitch. We do not want to be in a situation where we have broken legs. Better to convince the players to stop before.

"Look what happened to Eduardo a few years ago. It was shocking and was not football. If there is a serious risk to endanger the safety of an opponent, this has to be removed before there is actual damage.''

Collina also revealed former English referee Phil Sharp will take a workshop in Poland before Euro 2012 to provide special training for the 12 quintets of officials who will take charge at the tournament.