Written by Ellis Ian Fields
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Sunday, 27 February 2011

image for Premier League To End Players "Running Their Socks Off"
Portsmouth's Dave Kitson after running his socks off yesterday.

Premier League and Football League officials are to take steps against the traditional practice of players "running their socks off."

Particular attention was expected to be paid to the behaviour of the Arsenal and Birmingham sides today as they squared up for the first silverware of the season, the Carling Cup.

A spokesman for the Premier League said: "We have been in discussions with our colleagues in the NPower Football League and have agreed to take steps against this trend.

"It's a pre-emptive move really. FIFA made it a bookable offence for players to remove their shirts during a game, so we're moving on running their socks off before the international authorities get involved.

"There's a culture issue to be addressed with managers and coaches as well as players. It doesn't help when a manager with the considerable potential of Steve Cotterill at Portsmouth praises his players for 'running their socks off' as he did on Saturday.

"We are planning to meet with the referees' organisation over the next week to see if new measures can be introduced for next weekend.

"We sincerely hope that today's showpiece at Wemblet does not fall foul of any sockless players."

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