‘Players Behaviour Towards Referee Not Good Enough’

Howard Webb


The behaviour of managers and players towards match officials this season “has not been good enough”, says referees’ chief Howard Webb.

A number of Premier League managers including Jurgen Klopp, Marco Silva and Roberto di Zerbi have served touchline bans after being sent off.

Webb says a “stronger” approach is needed to try and address the issue.

“We need everybody in the game supporting a movement towards a more respectful environment,” he said.

Speaking to BBC Radio 5 Live, the Chief Refereeing Officer of the Professional Game Match Officials Limited added, “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.

“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.”

The issue of manager and player behaviour towards officials has been brought into focus this season after a number of high-profile incidents.

Liverpool boss, Klopp was given a one-match ban after he was sent off against Manchester City in October for berating the referee’s assistant. The German is also waiting for the result of a Football Association charge for comments he made about referee Paul Tierney after a game against Tottenham last month.