Christophe Rouillon, the mayor of the town of Coulaines near Le Mans in northern France, has banned spitting in public to try to stop the spread of swine flu.
Mr Rouillon wants footballers to set a better example to youngsters. He has written to Michel Platini, the president of Uefa, calling for the sport to clamp down on players gobbing on the pitch. Offenders should get a yellow card for their first spit with repeated gobs punished by a red card, he suggests.
It should be only a matter of time before the clean-up extends to the school gates, the playground, the corridors .