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Inter Milan's Vieira: Players must lay-off refs

Inter Milan midfielder Patrick Vieira believes players must show more respect to referees.

Players berating match officials has become an all too familiar sight across world football and Vieira feels he and his peers can assist in remedying the problem.

He told football debate website feelfootball.com: "Referees are quite isolated in comparison to players.

"There is pressure they receive from the fans, the public and the players, so the job of the referee is becoming really hard.

"We, as players, have an important role to play, to really accept the referee's decisions."

Vieira also claims too much pressure is placed on officials, forcing them to shy away from making match-changing decisions.

He added: "I feel now as if the referee is going on to the pitch afraid to make a decision - afraid even to be a referee.

"There is negative pressure on the referees and I really get the feeling that they don't get any help from players or from the football authorities.

"The referee is under too much negative pressure. Because of this, I think they lack spontaneity and passion.

"Being a referee should be like being a player - you should go with your heart, enjoy it and not have to think.

"If you think it's a free-kick, you give the free-kick, but at the moment it's less spontaneous."

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Tribal Football Staff

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