UEFA has told referees to protect players better by clamping down on serious foul play in European club competitions.
With the Champions League and Europa League set to resume this week, UEFA’s chief refereeing officer Pierluigi Collina has asked officials to take firm action against players who commit reckless challenges.
The guidance comes less than a fortnight after Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola asked English referees to look after the game’s “artists” by dealing with dangerous tackles more harshly.
In a statement, Collina said: “We need to have players playing, so they must be protected on the field.
“We do not want situations where a player’s future is put in doubt because of serious injury caused by a challenge, whether it is intentional, or is unintentional and the player making the challenge is taking a risk of causing injury.
“Players must understand that they have to respect their opponents and show the same positive behaviour to them that they would want to receive themselves.”l