Guardiola's cry for players' protection gets UEFA backing - FCNaija

International Edition By: Ambrose Udeme | 13/02/2018

Leroy Sane, Manchester City

Pep Guardiola's plea for the protection of players by referees has received support from the game's governing body in Europe.

UEFA according to BBC Sports want referees to punish serious foul play and 'protect football's image' in European club competitions. Europe's governing body also reminded referees not to tolerate being pressured into making decisions by groups of players.

It comes after Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola urged English officials to take care of the game's "artists" when Leroy Sane was injured in the FA Cup win at Cardiff in January.

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Uefa has told referees they have a duty to "protect football's image".

"We need players playing, so they must be protected.

"We do not want situations where a player's future is put in doubt because of serious injury caused by a challenge, whether it is intentional, or is unintentional and the player making the challenge is taking a risk of causing injury.

"Players must understand that they have to respect their opponents and show the same positive behaviour to them that they would want to receive themselves." said Uefa's chief refereeing officer Pierluigi Collina

Manchester City have asked to meet the body responsible for Premier League referees to discuss their concern at tackles being made against them.

The Premier League leaders have cited nine challenges this term which they say have not been suitably sanctioned, while City forward Raheem Sterling says his team-mates are being "butchered" by bad tackles.