05/04/2018 12:31, Report by Ian McLeish

This weekend’s Manchester derby coincides with the annual REFspect campaign, which aims to involve more people in refereeing at grassroots level and to encourage more referees and match officials to stay in the game. 

The campaign also promotes more respect for the match officials and seeks to stop verbal abuse and aggressive behaviour in the grassroots game. 

To help raise awareness and encourage fair play, Martin Atkinson and his match officials will be wearing T-shirts supporting the ‘Don’t X The Line’ campaign in advance of the match at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday, as will officials up and down the country at every level of football. 

For more information on the campaign, visit

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