Referee David Coote checks VAR screen during the English Premier...

Referee David Coote checks VAR screen during the English Premier League soccer match between Brentford and Aston Villa, at the Gtech Community Stadium in London, Sunday, Dec. 17, 2023. Clarity for players and spectators and zero tolerance for serious foul play and dissent. That’s what referees have been tasked with at the European Championship. Credit: AP/Dave Shopland

MUNICH — Clarity for players and spectators and zero tolerance for serious foul play and dissent — that’s what referees have been tasked with at the European Championship.

UEFA had already announced last month that it would do more to explain decisions to teams, requiring in turn that only captains can approach the referees to discuss them.

And that was emphasized on Wednesday at a media briefing on refereeing guidelines for Euro 2024 that took place at Munich’s Allianz Arena, two days before host nation Germany kicks off the tournament in the same venue against Scotland.

“Only the captain will approach the referee, the other players they have to think about (playing). That’s it, finish," UEFA managing director for refereeing Roberto Rosetti said.

UEFA has promised that the referees will attempt to give the captains an explanation of key incidents during the match, including what was discussed with VAR.

Any teammate ignoring his captain’s role and approaching the referee showing any sign of disrespect or dissent will receive a yellow card.

Fans, meanwhile, will also get a better understanding of VAR decisions as they will be broadcast on the giant screens in stadiums.

Referee Evangelos Manouchos, left, talks to Iceland's Jon Dagur Thorsteinsson...

Referee Evangelos Manouchos, left, talks to Iceland's Jon Dagur Thorsteinsson during the international friendly soccer match between The Netherlands and Iceland at De Kuip stadium in Rotterdam, Netherlands, Monday, June 10, 2024. Credit: AP/Patrick Post

“This is something new. I think it’s very, very, very interesting,” Rosetti said. “So we want to give, after the opinion of VAR, a technical explanation for the public. In live, simultaneously, the UEFA expert will prepare the explanation, a technical explanation about what happened in the specific situation.

“For example, on-field review, the referee awards a penalty for handball…technical explanation: Germany number nine touch the ball with his left arm which was in an unnatural position above the shoulder and making his body bigger.”

Rosetti has met with all the teams participating at Euro 2024 and their coaches to present the refereeing guidelines for the tournament, including hammering home that any dangerous tackles will be severely punished.

“One of the most important priority in refereeing guidelines is to protect the players,” Rosetti said. “To protect the image of the game, but in particular to protect the safety of the main actors of the games.

PSG's Goncalo Ramos, left, and Fabian Ruiz protest to referee...

PSG's Goncalo Ramos, left, and Fabian Ruiz protest to referee Gael Angoula after their first goal was disallowed by VAR decision during the French League One soccer match between Paris Saint-Germain and Clermont at the Parc des Princes stadium in Paris, Saturday, April 6, 2024. Clarity for players and spectators and zero tolerance for serious foul play and dissent. That’s what referees have been tasked with at the European Championship. Credit: AP/Lewis Joly

“We showed them a couple of clips that we are asking to the referees to be very strong in these kind of situations," he added. "So for such situations we asked to the referees to be zero tolerant because this is something that we cannot accept.”

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