SYDNEY — Misbehaving soccer coaches in Australia could be shown red and yellow cards during trials in the top men’s and women’s leagues.
Coaches can already be barred from the playing area, but the use of cards will make it clearer for spectators and television viewers to see when they are sanctioned by referees — just like players.
Managers and their support staff risk being banished from the side of the field for repeated infringements including kicking or throwing water bottles, delaying the restart of the game or for using offensive language or gestures toward match officials, rival teams or fans.
Football Federation Australia on Tuesday said the A-League and W-League are the first top-tier domestic competitions to receive approval from the Zurich-based International Football Association Board to conduct the trial, starting on Friday.
“Referees already have a process which is by way of conversation to coaches to warn them before removing them from the technical area after poor behavior,” Greg O’Rourke, head of the A-League and W-League, said. “Essentially, this trial will visualize those steps and as such better communicate to fans that the referees are giving the coaches and others formal warnings.
“It will help fans and viewers better understand the issues that match officials face on a weekly basis and help promote respect toward them.”
O’Rourke said the FFA would update its regulations so that the consequence of accumulating yellow cards for team officials will mirror those applied to players, and game suspensions can be imposed.
Other instances of “serious irresponsible behavior” that could warrant a red card for team officials, according to the FFA, include violent and aggressive behavior, spitting at any person or leaving the technical area and acting in a provocative or inflammatory manner.
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