Here is a piece of news for all those who have stated that they’ll never get tough on shirt tugging or other silly fouls in the penalty area, because they’d have to give so many penalties in the first week that it would be chaos. Well, the referee’s directives have been in force for 2 weekends and a referee in a amateur league in Bergamo found it necessary to dismiss 3 players between the 55th and 70th minute of a game between Villa d’Ogna and Longuelo. The game ended 2-2 but while the respective teams will be pleased to take home a point I doubt any of the players who have been sent off will be looking forward to serving their bans.
To date there have only been 2 bans handed out at the very top level, but perhaps these were enough to make it clear to the players that they were not merely making empty threats. Now if only they could hold such vigour over real football issues such as shirt tugging, obstruction, overprotection of goalkeepers and other petty offences carried out in the penalty area that despite being fouls are “too harsh to give penalties for”