With the Premier League season starting against the backdrop of civil disorder in England, football authorities are urging players to set a better example to youngsters.

A crackdown on bad behavior on the pitch was launched Thursday, including an attempt to eradicate unacceptable criticism and abuse of referees by players and managers.

English Football Association chairman David Bernstein says the ''Get on with the Game'' initiative is ''even more important in the light of what is happening in wider society.''

A wave of rioting and looting gripped parts of England earlier this week, leading to Tottenham's Premier League opener against Everton on Saturday being postponed as a police investigation continues close to White Hart Lane.