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Sunday, April 17, 2022

Antonio Conte agrees with Thomas Tuchel on referee protection claim after Matt Doherty injury

  Tottenham manager Antonio Conte has made a plea to Premier League referees to help protect players from dangerous tackles. It comes aft...

 

Tottenham manager Antonio Conte has made a plea to Premier League referees to help protect players from dangerous tackles. It comes after Spurs wing-back Matt Doherty was ruled out for the remainder of the season.

The Irishman was on the receiving end of scissor tackle from Aston Villa full-back Matt Cash last week. The timing couldn’t be worse for the club and player, who had both begun to find some form under Conte in their chase for a top four finish.

 Cash wasn’t sent off for his challenge, something that was a point of contention in the game given the magnitude of the injury. This has led to the head coach calling for officials to “pay more attention” to protecting players.

to pay more attention and protect players. I understand that sometimes you go and you take the ball, but if you go and take half ball and half body and you damage the player, it's not the same.

“I think for the safety of the players, the referees have to pay great attention. You have to take the ball, but when you take the body, and you make damages to your opponent, I think you have to make a big punishment to the players.

“I was a player, and I know the way to do it if I want to make a problem for an opponent, an injury, I find the right time to go for the ball and the body. I was a player, and I know this. Instead, to take only the ball, I go for the ball, but he has taken the ball here, but he has broken his leg also.”

This was a sentiment shared by Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel. The Blues themselves have seen a number of long-term injuries this season, leading to the German coach hoping for more protection too. He said in his pre-match press conference for Crystal Palace :

“We should always protect the players because it is, for them the game is famous, for them the supporters want to see the players in the stadium. There is no doubt. We should protect them, not overprotect them.

“There is always a line between a fair and hard tackle. This is the culture of English football and Premier League, to let the game go and to accept a certain amount of physicality that is maybe not accepted in other leagues.

 Fair enough is part of the challenge. Of course, we all fight for the same thing, for reckless and ruthless challenges and don't see and cannot protect yourself, of course, we need to protect the players. I think that every referee does his best to do so in every single match.”

The two bosses speaking out may be the start of raising awareness for players, not just in protection from poor challenges, but further than that too.

 The recent debate about fixture scheduling has arisen once again too, with questions being asked about players’ welfare. Whether that will help either in their campaign to support their squad remains to be seen, but their pleas are being heard.

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