Ban referees if they ignore abuse proposes Poll

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The Independent Football

Graham Poll has called for referees to receive three-match bans if they fail to clamp down on the abuse they receive from players. The former Premier League official believes the suspensions would help tackle the problem of disrespect on the pitch that has been highlighted this season.

"I have a very simple solution," Poll said. "If there is clear abuse on a football field, you say that someone is going to serve a three-match ban. It's either going to be the player guilty of the abuse or the referee who doesn't punish him. For the referees it will be their choice, you or them."

The Professional Footballers' Association chairman Chris Powell spoke about the problem in his speech during the annual PFA Awards dinner on Sunday night. Powell asked for an end to the disrespect to make life easier for referees.

Poll feels there should be a total change in attitude towards officials if there are to be improvements. He added: "It's not just referees being strong and the FA backing them, but players not showing disrespect, managers backing the strong referees and media praising referees after asking for a clampdown."

Elsewhere, the Tottenham midfielder Jermaine Jenas believes the arrival of Luka Modric at White Hart Lane proves the ambition of the club for next season.

Modric is set to sign a five-year deal after Spurs agreed to pay Dinamo Zagreb £15.8m for the Croatia midfielder, who hopes to help his new team achieve the aim of playing in the Champions League.

"I saw him play in the qualifier against England and he was fantastic," Jenas said. "It is a fantastic acquisition and to bring in players of that calibre shows where the club is heading."

Spurs' head coach Juande Ramos was one of the factors that led to Modric agreeing to sign, as was the prospect of living in London where he could be a neighbour of the Arsenal striker Eduardo, a friend and compatriot.

After winning the Carling Cup this season and now with the signing of Modric, there is an expectation of building on the Wembley victory.

Jenas added: "A lot of the lads, I wouldn't say are looking forward to pre-season, but are looking forward to coming back, getting back to work and getting ourselves in a position where we are not lingering in mid-table come the end of next season."

They still have two games in this campaign, against Reading next weekend and then Liverpool on the final day of the season.

"The Reading game is very important because they want to stay in the Premier League and we need the three points," said midfielder Didier Zokora. "If we win this game, we go into the Liverpool game looking to finish on a high for the fans."