Professional Footballers' Association chief executive Gordon Taylor is in favour of a "no-go zone" around referees to protect them from displays of dissent by players.
The issue of respect for referees came back into the spotlight after Chelsea defender Ashley Cole turned his back on official Mike Riley during Wednesday night's game against Tottenham following his foul on Spurs full-back Alan Hutton.
Taylor admitted Cole's reaction was "not what you want" and hopes football can learn from both rugby codes by only allowing captains to communicate with referees.
"I'm very much in favour of looking to leave a no-go zone around referees, and any communication should be through the captain in the team," he told Sky Sports News.
"We can't be so arrogant that we can't learn from other sports, and I think that's a lesson we should learn from rugby.
Speaking specifically about the Cole incident, Taylor added: "It was a local derby. Of course it's not the reaction you want and in the cold light of day I and many others can say it's not what we want and today Ashley will also appreciate that wasn't the thing to do.
"But in the heat of the moment things happen. It is important that we get the message through. If a referee takes a view it's a matter of (players) counting to 10.
"We're a well-paid profession and the price for being well paid is to try and act as professionally as possible and set the right standards so that when youngsters are playing on the local pitch there is respect for the referee from supporters, from parents and players."