Red cards now possible for 'clearly offensive', deliberate coughing

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A-League players and footballers around the world could now be issued a red card for deliberately coughing at match officials and other players.

The International Football Association Board, the game's rule-making body, has introduced a new to safeguard against the coronavirus.

IFAB added the offence of deliberate coughing will be introduced under "using offence, insulting or abusive language and/or gestures."

However, any punishment will be up to the discretion of the appointed referee of a game.

As with all offences, the referee has to make a judgment about the true nature of the offence," IFAB said.

"If it were clearly accidental, then the referee would not take action, nor if the 'cough' took place with a large distance between the players.

"Where it is close enough to be clearly offensive, then the referee can take action."

England's Football Association has also updated its guidelines to introduce the measure in their leagues.

The FA has said referees must not look to punish "routine" coughing and "action can only be supported where it is evident it was a clear act against someone else."

Currently, the Premier League nor the A-League have any written guidelines on deliberate coughing.

Source AAP