FOOTBALLERS playing in one of the region's amateur leagues face instant bookings if they are caught urinating beside the pitch.

Referees in York have been told to clamp down on the problem following complaints from residents living near grounds.

Players and spectators who use bad language on and off the pitch also face disciplinary action under the new league offensive.

Urinating is now classed as ungentlemanly conduct, and players will have to pay £8 if they are given a yellow card.

Chris Dale, secretary of the Leeper Hare League, has written to all referees and club secretaries.

He said: "We've received a number of complaints about players urinating from people whose homes border pitches. Bad language is a serious problem because a lot of these games attract youngsters.

"The referee is in charge from the moment he gets to the ground until the moment he leaves. We must be seen to be taking action."