Mob control: UEFA says only captains can question referee decisions at Euro 2024

May 15 – UEFA has told teams at Euro 2024 that only captains will be allowed to approach referees to question decisions taken during games and other players doing so risk being booked.

The move by European football’s governing body is to try to stop groups of players “mobbing” referees in scenes which are “bad for the image of football”.

UEFA has this week gathered Euro 2024 match officials in Frankfurt to prepare for the June 14-July 14 tournament, and has detailed the standards it expects.

Yellow cards are promised for any player who is not the captain “showing any sign of disrespect or dissent” when approaching the referee.

While the VAR system is widely unpopular in domestic leagues, it has provoked few controversies in international competitions where UEFA can pick from the best match officials.

UEFA head of refereeing Roberto Rosetti, who handled the 2008 final, said in a statement: “Importantly, we want only the captain from the team who wishes to discuss a decision to be able to approach the referee.”

“It is the responsibility of the captain to ensure his teammates respect the referee, keep their distance and do not surround him.”

When a captain is the goalkeeper and an incident happens far from his goal, an outfield player should be nominated to talk with the referee.

“In a bid to improve the status quo we at UEFA want referees to explain more of their decisions to all teams competing at the upcoming UEFA Euro 2024 tournament.

“How will we do this? The idea is simple: we ask that all teams ensure their captain is the only player who speaks to the referee.

“We ask the captains to ensure their team-mates do not encroach upon and surround the referee, allowing direct conversations to take place in order that the decision be relayed in a timely and respectful manner.”

“Any team-mate ignoring his captain’s role and/or who approaches the referee showing any sign of disrespect or dissent will be shown a yellow card,” added Rosetti.

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