Major League Soccer will institute a rule against ‘mass confrontations’ of the referee during a match:
Troubled by swarms of players disrupting a match, the league’s board of governors has approved a rule that would penalize teams and coaches when three or more individuals confront a referee or opponent.
The MLS disciplinary committee would issue a warning for a first offense. Subsequent incidents would result in a fine for both the club and head coach. The league declined to specify amounts, but multiple sources told the Insider the committee would levy penalties of $5,000 for a team and $1,000 for a coach.
Great, I suppose. But the idea this is a unique scourge is false. A year ago today, I posted this quote:
“In Russia the captain of a side wears the armband to show his rank, and he alone is permitted to appeal to the referee. What a far cry from the unsightly assaults on the unhappy officials of some lands, including Britain, when referees are jostled by protesting players at the award of a penalty!”
-Geoffrey Green, 1960.
And of course there’s the early 20th century example above. So good on you MLS, and good luck to you in changing a 100 year-old problem.