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Marco Zoro once attempted to leave the field with the match ball after being racially abused, so don’t tell me referees have to toughen up and accept abuse from players.
A few years ago, Ashley Cole went out of his way to humiliate referee Mike Riley, knowing the official was too scared to send him off. Cole had escaped a blatant red card for assaulting Alan Hutton (who is no angel himself).
When I talk about dissent, I'm not talking about a nutter like Javier Mascherano, who said "F--- off" to referee Steve Bennett at least five or six times.
I'm talking about the snide remarks here and there like "Ref, c'mon—I didn't complain about those other calls, but that one was the wrong call."
Players with high football IQ know how to coax a referee onto their side by belittling his decisions in a constructive manner.
Do you know who the best at this is? Xavi.
In the 2009 El Derbi Barceloní, Xavi was constantly in the ear of referee Eduardo Iturralde González.
González later caved in and awarded Barcelona a nothing penalty.
If a player shows dissent in any form to a referee (with the exception of a challenge, which we'll discuss later), the referee shouldn’t pull out the yellow card for dissent, it should be a red card and the governing body should suspend that player for a game.
Referees need to officiate a game without being intimidated or too scared to make the right and often brave call.