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I WAS TOLD TO GO EASY ON CHELSEA, CLAIMS REFEREE

 

Saturday April 11,2009

By Paul Joyce

 

THE referee who took charge of Chelsea’s Champions League victory over Liverpool has sensationally claimed a Stamford Bridge official told him to go easy on three of their players who risked missing next week’s second leg if they were booked.

 

Danish official Claus Bo Larsen spoke out after being approached at a security meeting at Anfield on the morning of last Wednesday’s game, when he was informed Chelsea “would not be excited” at the prospect of John Terry, Ashley Cole or Nicolas Anelka being booked.

 

Bo Larsen went on to book Terry for a foul on Pepe Reina during Chelsea’s 3-1 victory, which means he will miss the return showdown, but he says he was “shocked” by the conversation which was overheard by other people at the meeting.

 

UEFA will be under pressure to launch an investigation into the experienced referee’s claims when they return to work after the Easter break.

 

Chelsea last night admitted they had raised the issue at the meeting, but said it was on behalf of both clubs with Liverpool also having Alvaro Arbeloa and Andrea Dossena one caution away from suspension. “I’ve never experienced anything like this,” said Bo Larsen.

 

“When we had a safety meeting on Wednesday morning, a representative from Chelsea said, ‘Claus Bo, you should just remember that we have some players who have a yellow card already and we are not so excited if they get one again’.”

 

The organisational meeting is standard procedure and it is understood it was also attended by Liverpool secretary Ian Sylvester and Chelsea counterpart David Barnard, Merseyside Police and UEFA officials, including the match delegate.

 

“We were quite shocked,” added Bo Larsen. “I have been to more than 100 safety meetings, and this is the first time I experienced such a thing.

 

“It was while Liverpool and UEFA and other people were there. I responded by saying that if a player does something for a yellow card, he gets a yellow card.”

 

Terry was booked with the score at 1-1 and was fuming at Bo Larsen’s decision and later accused Liverpool players of deliberately getting him booked. But the referee was adamant. He added: “When a player tries to jump after a goalkeeper who has the ball, to prevent the enemy from turning, then he must also pay at a bank. So he received the card anyway.”

 

The Chelsea statement read: “UEFA organisational meetings are opportunities for all parties to raise valid issues in relation to that day’s game. Therefore, it was an appropriate meeting in which to rase the issue of both teams fielding players on yellow cards.

 

“Chelsea did not raise the issue solely in relation to Chelsea players.”

 

Daily Express

Edited by floyd
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