THIS season we are faced with another round of changes to the Laws of the Game, 27 in all, but before tackling some of these sometimes-radical changes, I would like to take a quick look back at the Women’s football World Cup.

This tournament restored my belief of football as the beautiful game.

I’m not talking about the standard of play, but the behaviour of the players, towards one another and towards the referees.

No stand-up-ready-to-fight after a heavy tackle, no surrounding the referee with intimidating gestures.

OK, they would ask the referee what the foul was for, but then they got on with the game.

Now with the start of the season approaching we will be back to reality of footballer behaviour, not just in the professional game, but on the local parks.

At the National Referees Conference this year we were told English referees are seven times more likely to be abused than our continental counterparts.

I have also seen other figures which show in Holland 2.2 per cent of referees have suffered verbal abuse. In France this has gone up to 14.4 per cent, but in England the figure is 60 per cent.

Players seem to think their behaviour is perfectly acceptable and just something referees should put up with.

One referee locally was told by a player who abused him ‘if you can’t take it you shouldn’t be refereeing’ as if part of being a referee was to accept abuse.

Others will say 'that’s life today', but even if that was true, at least in football something can and must be done about it.

Referees who feel their complaints are not taken seriously have wanted to wear ‘body’ cameras, but this was met with a law change forbidding it. Why?

Local leagues who have wanted to refuse registration of players and even clubs known to be troublemakers, have not been allowed to do so. Why?

But first it must be tackled at the top because local footballers copy what happens at the professional level.