By Chris Harris

Football would do well to take its lead from rugby when it launches its new ‘Respect’ campaign, according to Arsène Wenger.

Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore has called for a crackdown on bad behaviour from players and managers towards referees after a number of high-profile incidents this season.

Wenger threw his weight behind the initiative when he faced reporters at his pre-match press conference on Friday. And the Arsenal manager believes that rugby’s practice of allowing only the captain to speak to officials is well worth adopting.

“We can be inspired by what happens in rugby for example,” said Wenger.  “Sometimes the referees get too close to the players as well, and they have to keep the right distance with the players.

“We all want to be respected. Never did anybody say they didn’t want to be respected. It’s a good campaign. Will the campaign be respected? That’s always very difficult. You want respect on all fronts and sport has to be an example.

“The managers are always under pressure and sometimes we go a little bit too far, but many times it’s just after the game in moments when it’s very difficult for any manager to keep the right distance with what happened on the pitch.”

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1 Apr 2011