Sunday August 4 2013
'Zero tolerance' on shirt-tugging

Refereeing chief Stefano Braschi has warned there will be “zero tolerance” in Serie A this season for shirt-tugging and protests.

The officials had their pre-season get-together this week, involving 21 referees and 44 assistants, to discuss the interpretation of the rules for 2013-14.

“We will try to favour entertainment if the players are trying to play football,” said Braschi with reference to tough tackling.

“We cannot allow anyone to play in a violent manner. Now we see tackles on players at a crazy pace, even if they have no chance of getting the ball. We need to pay special attention to the way football is changing.”

The officials will also clamp down on the ugly habits of shirt-tugging in the penalty area and crowds of players protesting around the referee.

“Of course you can talk to us, but there are ways of doing it. We want the captain to go back to a special role, one that helps the officials a great deal.

“There will be zero tolerance on shirt-tugging. Enough of those amazed faces whenever we award a free kick or penalty. Players have to be aware of the rules.”