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European Football: New Referee Rule

By Prof Dr Ian Blackshaw

It has been announced by the Governing Body of European Football (UEFA) that the new rule introduced into the Euros 2024, whereby only the captain of a team may speak to the referee, will be extended to the European Champions League, the Europa League and the Europa Conference League next season.

This follows, according to UEFA, the “success” of the new rule, designed to “convey respect” and “improve the image of football”.

Under the rule, any player, apart from the captain, that approaches the referee will automatically be given a yellow card.

In the Euros 2024, the new rule has led to an increase in yellow cards, with 166 of them being issued in the group stage, compared with 98 issued during the same period in the 2020 tournament.

The new rule has been, generally, welcomed and there have been calls for it to be extended to all levels of football!

Prof Dr Ian Blackshaw may be contacted by e-mail at ‘This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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