Recent incidents in the English Premier League have Manchester United coach Alex Ferguson
saying, "The haranguing of referees is ridiculous, we know
that" and Gordon Taylor
, the chief executive of the players' union (PFA) suggesting an "exclusion zone" around referees.
Last week, Liverpool midfielder Javier
chased down and berated referee Steve Bennett
before being ejected. And Chelsea defender Ashley Cole
was spared a red card despite petulantly turning his back on
referee Mike Riley
and ignoring requests to face him.
English soccer officials are trying to launch a respect referees campaign, while Taylor suggested banning players from
approaching the referee as in rugby, where only team captains may communicate with the referee.
"I'm very much in favor of looking to leave a no-go zone around referees, and any
communication should be through the captain in the team," said Taylor. "We can't be so arrogant that we can't learn from other sports, and I think that's a lesson we should learn from rugby."