Rowdy Behaviour Against Referees an Issues, Says Referees' Chief Howard Webb

This season, several players and managers have misbehaved with referees.

Referees’ chief Howard Webb has expressed his displeasure with the display of poor behaviour by football players and managers against referees. The chief believes a new approach is required to tackle the growing rowdy behaviour of players on the pitch.

Webb’s statement

Speaking to BBC Radio 5 Live, the chief said, "We need everybody in the game supporting a movement towards a more respectful environment. It's clear it has not been good enough. Everybody acknowledges we need to be stronger in dealing with behaviours not at the acceptable level," as quoted by BBC Sport in its report.

"I think for a long time referees have taken a conciliatory approach, I did it as well. I didn't want to overreact and ruin the game in the moment. But that's not fared well in the bigger picture, and we need to collectively look at ways we can change the trend - and it does need changing. We all accept that," he added.

Recent incidents

According to BBC Sports, this season, footballers and managers have heckled referees on several occasions. For example, during the FA game against Manchester United, Fulham’s striker Aleksandar Mitrovic pushed referee Chris Kavanagh, because of which he was handed an eight-match ban.

During the Liverpool game versus Manchester City, Jurgen Klopp was sent off for criticizing the assistant referee.

We don't need some of the behaviour: Webb

Reflecting more on the issue, Webb further said, "For quite some time now, there's been a group of people from all aspects of the game coming together to look at participant behaviour and come up with some steps that we think will make a difference, and those will be implemented during the close season."

"We will be speaking to the clubs, the managers, the players, the media, everybody involved, to lay out what those look like. I get the sense there is a stronger desire now than before for this to happen. We have a great product and a great league, and we don't need some of the behaviour we have seen to continue," concluded the chief.