London: Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson, reacting to a lack of honesty in modern day game, has said that "players and professionalism are killing the game."
Ferguson had confronted referee Chris Foy after Man U`s Community Shield defeat against Chelsea last Sunday, for refusing to stop the game when Michael Ballack had deliberately blocked Patrice Evra, as United were in possession.
However, after a week of reflection, Ferguson believes that it is the players, not the officials, who are to blame for the confusion over whether to kick the ball out of play when someone goes down apparently injured.
"The players and professionalism are killing the game, not referees. I remember the referees` boss Keith Hackett telling us three years ago that players are instructed not to kick the ball out," Ferguson said.
"I told my players that and to let the referee decide. If there is a head injury then of course the referee is entitled to stop the game. That was the criteria we were working on but players won`t stick to it," he added.
The 67-year-old further said that the idea of kicking the ball out has been exploited to a ridiculous degree, and urged that it needs to be stopped.
"They think they will get stick from the opposing players or fans if they don`t kick it out when someone goes down. We have overcooked the whole thing. Most of the time when players go down there is nothing wrong with them," said Ferguson.