Following our earlier news item, some of the core detail has been coming out of the Football League's Annual General Meeting in Portugal. Represented by their 72 member clubs, the League have voted unanimously to call for a clampdown on 'gamesmanship' within football matches - the sort of borderline issues that are left to matchday referees to sort out.
The proposal was initiated by Exeter City Chairman Edward Chorlton and outlines the three following principles that they want to establish for the 2012-13 season:
"1. Gamesmanship has no place in our game. Football League matches should be played within a culture of sportsmanship not gamesmanship.
2. Clubs will undertake to instruct managers, coaches and players accordingly - in particular to discourage actions which bring the game's reputation into disrepute, such as:
a) showing disrespect to match officials; and/or
b) those actions that undermine a sporting culture including diving/simulation, time wasting and feigning injury.
3. In the first year of this initiative, The League will request that referees support this initiative by taking more robust action, particularly in the following situations:
a) obstructing the quick taking of free-kicks
b) stealing ground at throw-ins."
The proof of the pudding will of course be in the eating, but Football League Chairman Greg Clarke has welcomed the move in a statement issued by the league today:
"As a collective of clubs we have a responsibility to protect the image and long term health of the game of football. In supporting these proposals, League clubs have shown a determination to give a lead in this important area. We will now use them as a platform from which to engage with those parties that can help us change our game for the better."
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