Heads seek watershed for TV football

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The Independent Online

Live football matches should be televised after the 9pm watershed because the sport's "violence, foul language, cheating and defiance of authority" is setting children a bad example, a headteachers' leader will warn today.

Live football matches should be televised after the 9pm watershed because the sport's "violence, foul language, cheating and defiance of authority" is setting children a bad example, a headteachers' leader will warn today.

Martin Ward, the deputy general secretary of the Secondary Heads Association, will tell the union's annual conference in Brighton that the bad behaviour of sporting heroes is undermining attempts to clamp down on unruly youngsters in schools.

Mr Ward will condemn sports stars who swear at referees, saying they need to learn how to "behave in civilised society". He will also call for TV companies to display more "moral authority" and refuse to broadcast such bad behaviour, and for clubs to control players' outbursts.

He will say: "When a player tells a referee to f*** off - in full view of millions of people on television - he should be sent off, not for a repeated offence, but first time, every time, however famous he may be. He would soon learn how to behave in civilised society, and an example would be set to young people."

He will say the televised bad behaviour "is making the job of schools - where public expectations of standards of behaviour are much higher than elsewhere in society - infinitely more difficult".

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