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Page last updated at 12:00 GMT, Sunday, 23 March 2008

Terry backs referee respect plans

Mark Halsey and John Terry
John Terry says referee incidents are publicised more nowadays

Chelsea captain John Terry says he would back plans to stamp out the hounding of referees.

Terry was speaking in light of criticism directed towards Chelsea for their disrespectful behaviour towards Mike Riley on Wednesday night.

It was the latest in a series of incidents which have led for calls to introduce new rules that would only allow captains to speak to referees.

"I think it'll be one of them where I'll have to give it a go," said Terry.


"But if it doesn't work then the FA will have to say no, it isn't working," he told BBC Radio 5 Live's Sportsweek programme.

Chelsea players surrounded referee Riley appearing to bully him out of red carding Ashley Cole following a late tackle on Alan Hutton during Wednesday's 4-4 draw with Tottenham.

Cole has been widely condemned for his behaviour towards Riley to whom he refused to acknowledge or even look at as the referee attempted to yellow card him.

But Terry has defended the behaviour of the Chelsea players following the incident.

"It is a natural reaction," he said.

"The fans show their frustration and the players do the same because they are passionate about the game.

"I do agree there has to be a line drawn and confronting the referee has to be taken out of the game."

The behaviour of footballers and the standard of tackling has come under intense scrutiny in recent weeks but Terry does not believe the game has changed or that challenges or attitudes are getting worse.

These tackles have gone on for years and have never been spoken of before

John Terry

"I personally don't think it has got out of hand and I don't think it is any worse than it used to be," he said.

"It is just being publicised and spoken about a bit more at the moment.

"These tackles have gone on for years and have never been spoken of before.

"Usually it was just a yellow card and everyone would get on with it. Now it is spoken about on television and publicised in the papers and ex-referees are given their views and the game has moved on a lot."

see also
Ferguson urges referees respect
22 Mar 08 |  Football
Tottenham 4-4 Chelsea
20 Mar 08 |  Premier League

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