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Last Updated: Tuesday, 27 February 2007, 09:51 GMT
Dixon defends cup final 'passion'
Arsene Wenger and Jose Mourinho try to calm the row
Both managers came on to the pitch to try to calm the row
Former England defender Lee Dixon insists the mass brawl that marred Chelsea's Carling Cup final win against Arsenal was sparked by "passion".

The clubs may face Football Association charges after Arsenal pair Emmanuel Adebayor and Kolo Toure were sent off, along with Chelsea's Mikel Jon Obi.

Dixon told BBC Sport: "We want to see passion but sometimes it boils over.

"The FA will punish these players as they see fit but I don't think it was that bad. We want to see passion."

Arsenal and Chelsea have appealed to the FA against the red cards received by Adebayor and Jon Obi in Jose Mourinho's side's 2-1 win.

Gunners' boss Arsene Wenger and Mourinho both ran on to the pitch to try to calm the players.

Both clubs are braced for FA action after the unseemly scenes in Cardiff.

Wenger said: "I am sure the players will be punished. Will it be once or twice? With the FA you always have a good chance to worry."

Referees' chief Keith Hackett has called on the FA to take action and praised the way referee Howard Webb dealt with the incident.

"Howard and his assistants had a good game on that incident which was out of character from the rest of the match," said Hackett, general manager of the Professional Game Match Officials Board.

"They dealt calmly and firmly with it and after consultation Howard took appropriate action.

Sometimes mature people lose control of their emotions

Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho

"His report will go into the FA and they will look at those unseemly situations that arose. It was a pity because it was a fantastic game."

Hackett also criticised the two managers for getting involved.

"This will be looked at by the FA. It was done with all good intentions but what we need is for those other than players to stay off the field, apart from security."

The brawl began when Toure was dragged back by Mikel, prompting an angry reaction from the Arsenal defender.

In the ensuing melee, Emmanuel Eboue clashed with Wayne Bridge, leaving the Chelsea left-back on the ground.

After consulting with his assistant, Webb showed red cards to Mikel, Toure and Adebayor and cautioned Frank Lampard and Cesc Fabregas.

The game was further delayed when a protesting Adebayor had to be dragged from the pitch by Arsenal physio Gary Lewin.

Ivory Coast international Toure said: "I apologise for this moment, and I regret my actions.

"Chelsea were winning and were starting to waste time, and I was not happy with that, which is why I went to Mikel and had some words with him.

"Then Lampard came in and maybe made the thing bigger than it was, but that is part of football."

Gunners striker Adebayor said: "My reaction after the card did not mean I wanted to hit the referee - I just wanted to know why he gave me the red card.

"I do not think I did anything wrong."

606 DEBATE: What will happen to Adebayor?

Mourinho said the incidents were disappointing but understandable.

"Sometimes mature people lose control of their emotions," he said.

"You cannot kill a player because something happened. If Mikel did something wrong, it is not my job to kill him, it is my job to educate him."

SEE ALSO
Chelsea 2-1 Arsenal
25 Feb 07 |  League Cup
Carling Cup final clockwatch
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Carling Cup photos
25 Feb 07 |  Football
Terry recovers after head injury
25 Feb 07 |  Chelsea
Cup final brawl upsets Mourinho
25 Feb 07 |  League Cup
We lost our cool, admits Wenger
25 Feb 07 |  League Cup
Garth Crooks' team of the week
24 Oct 05 |  Score on BBCi


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