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English football adds 'Intolerable Behavior' rule, and it will change how players treat referees

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Thanks to a joint initiative by the Premier League, the Football League, and the Football Association, there will now be stricter rules to cut down on "intolerable behavior" by players.

A statement released on Wednesday by the three associations encourages match officials to take more of a hardline approach and to take action against any "unacceptable participant conduct." This includes arguing with referees, gesturing towards referees aggressively, and anything else that could be construed as offensive.

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The release calls for players who show "offensive, insulting or abusive language and/or gestures" to be shown a red card. It also calls for players who make non-aggressive contact with match officials to be shown yellow cards (aggressive contact will be met by a red card).

Basically, outward signs of objection toward referees will be met with varying degrees of punishment from here on. This very much mirrors what the NBA did a few years ago when the league instituted rules meant to dissuade players from arguing.

There will likely be issues with the competition, as bookmaker Coral points out:

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