Australia trials sanctions of red, yellow cards for coaches

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SYDNEY (AP) Referees in Australia will be encouraged to issue red and yellow cards to misbehaving coaches and team officials during a trial in the domestic top-flight men’s and women’s leagues.

Football Federation Australia on Tuesday said the A-League and W-League would be the first top-tier domestic competitions to receive approval from the International Football Advisory Board to conduct the trial, starting this Friday.

Coaching and support staff can be barred from the playing area under existing regulations, but the use of the red and yellow cards will allow spectators to see when cautions and ejections have been imposed – just as they do when players are sanctioned on the field.

Coaches and staff risk being sent from the field for repeated infringements including kicking or throwing water bottles, leaving their technical area, delaying the restart of the game or for using offensive language or gestures toward match officials, rival teams or fans.

Greg O’Rourke, head of the A-League and W-League, says “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. 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.”