Hands off officials, FA rules

LONDON - The English Football Association (FA) has banned team managers, players and club officials from making media comments about referees before games as it tries to clamp down on intimidation of match officials.

LONDON - The English Football Association (FA) has banned team managers, players and club officials from making media comments about referees before games as it tries to clamp down on intimidation of match officials.

"Clubs are being advised that media comments by managers, players or any other club officials relating to appointed officials prior to a fixture will no longer be allowed," it said. "Such pre-match comments will be dealt with accordingly."

The FA said post-match comments were still allowed as long as they were not personal, implied bias, attacked the integrity of officials or brought the game into disrepute. The FA also said it would charge clubs if three or more players surrounded a ref in a "confrontational manner". - Reuters

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