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Referee guidelines

Poll: Bad language not enough for red

June 11, 2010
By Soccernet staff

Former English World Cup referee Graham Poll has said Wayne Rooney does not have to worry about swearing in general as much as the exact words he uses.

Josip Simunic, Graham Poll
GettyImagesGraham Poll's World Cup blunder

"Simply swearing or using foul language is no longer an offence," Poll, who entered World Cup's hall of shame when he issued three yellow cards to the same player in 2006, told the Daily Mail. "If it's very loud the referee might ask him to mind his language."

Asked what someone would have to do to get sent off, he said: "Anything the referee considers to be offensive, insulting and/or abusive - certainly an expletive aimed at a match official such as 'ref, you are a ****' should result in a red card." He added this approach extended to gestures.

Players must also watch what they say to team-mates. "Any abuse aimed at colleagues, opponents or supporters must result in a red as well."

Shouting in a language unfamiliar to the officials is no way to avoid problems either as Poll told the newspaper they would "react to the way something is being said rather than the exact words".