A REGULAR reader, David Downs, Reading FC historian, recently sent me an article by Reading sporting icon, Mathew Syed, now a Times newspaper journalist.

Mathew wrote about what he called 'rotational fouling' in football.

Not a term I am familiar with, and certainly not one in the Laws of the Game, Matthew also had an alternative title – ‘take-it-in-turn fouling’.

He referred specifically to the Sheffield United game against Crystal Palace, when Wilfried Zaha was fouled eight times by six different players, all making sure it was not in the penalty area.

Zaha was picked on because he’ s one of those players who can easily turn a game.

It is sadly not new. George Best, another quick and mercurial player, was often the target of multiple fouls.

Matthew’s point was it is probably orchestrated by the club management, and it is certainly premeditated.

Watford's Troy Deeney has said, ‘you take it in turns kicking Zaha. You don’t have the same player tackle him, because you know you are going to get a yellow card’.

This of course is the nub of it.

The Law says: "A player is cautioned and shown a yellow card if guilty of persistent offences."

There is no specific number or pattern of offences to make them persistent.

I’m sure, however, that everyone has seen a referee, while speaking to an offender, point out various places on the field indicating where he has committed fouls.

But the Law refers to one person persistently fouling.

So what should the referee do for team fouling?

I remember watching Manchester United against Chelsea, when the Red Devils were obviously giving Eden Hazard the same treatment as he seemed impossible to stop otherwise.

After a number of United players had fouled him, the referee called the United captain over.

From his actions, it was obvious the referee was telling him he had spotted their tactic and the next person to foul Hazard would receive a yellow card. He carried out his threat. The fouling then stopped.

I believe this action should be enshrined in the Laws.