Referees’ body to meet City over concerns about bad tackles
Manchester City have been granted a meeting with the governing body of Premier League referees to discuss Pep Guardiola’s concern regarding tackles made against his players.
The meeting, requested by the club, is expected to take place next month but it is unlikely the Professional Game Match Officials Limited will consider City’s wish for panels to retrospectively review questionable challenges dealt with by the referee during the game.
City contacted the body this month following what the manager believed was a run of dangerous tackles on his players. The club believed nine of these deserved a higher sanction than that handed out during the match.
The tackle Kevin De Bruyne received from Crystal Palace’s Jason Puncheon in a goalless draw at Selhurst Park on New Year’s Eve and a challenge on Leroy Sané by Joe Bennett in the FA Cup fourth-round win at Cardiff City that caused the winger ankle ligament damage are thought to be among those about which the club are frustrated.
Both Puncheon and Bennett were booked which incensed Guardiola and City who believed the players should have been sent off. Yet it is understood the PGMOL, which is headed by Mike Riley, will not consider introducing a rule to allow yellow cards to be increased to reds by a panel.
The PGMOL is expected to outline to Guardiola and his staff what considerations referees take before issuing red cards following a challenge. These include the point of contact and whether excessive force is deemed to have been used.
Guardiola’s players have joined the manager in addressing the matter. After De Bruyne was again the target of a dangerous tackle by West Bromwich Albion’s James McClean during a 3-0 win at the end of last month, he said: “I don’t know what [opponents] are thinking – you can also pull a shirt, that’s more effective than a tackle.
“Sometimes it gets frustrating. A lot of teams are making a lot of fouls against us. We make a foul, we get a yellow card, I don’t know how it’s possible sometimes.”https://www.theguardian.com/football/20 ... ier-league