Blues Defend Yellow Card Move
Chelsea have insisted they had every right to raise the issue of players on yellow cards with Champions League referee Claus Bo Larsen on the morning of their game with Liverpool. The Blues defended their position after the Danish official claimed the club had said they would "not be so excited" if one of their players on a yellow card got another booking. Three Chelsea players faced an automatic one-match suspension if they collected another yellow card during the quarter-final first-leg tie at Anfield on Wednesday night. Bo Larsen, who has been criticised for booking John Terry during Chelsea's 3-1 victory over the Reds, said Chelsea secretary David Barnard raised the matter during a UEFA organisational meeting on Wednesday morning. But in a statement, Chelsea said the meeting was an appropriate moment to point out that a number of players, including two from Liverpool, were one booking away from a ban. A spokesman for Chelsea said: "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 raise the issue of both teams fielding players on yellow cards. "Chelsea did not raise the issue solely in relation to Chelsea players." Terry, Ashley Cole and Nicolas Anelka, along with Liverpool's Alvaro Arbeloa and Andrea Dossena, were all walking a disciplinary tight rope ahead of the game. But Terry's booking, which rules him out of the return leg at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday night, put Bo Larsen under scrutiny and his comments in the Danish media on Friday may have been fuelled by criticism of his decision. The Chelsea captain was shown the yellow card for a challenge on Liverpool goalkeeper Jose Reina. But Terry and his England team-mate Frank Lampard later accused Liverpool's players of deliberately getting the centre-half booked. UEFA may now launch an investigation into the matter but much will depend on what Bo Larsen has included in his report, along with the UEFA match delegate's observations. "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 was also attended by Liverpool secretary Ian Sylvester, Barnard, Merseyside Police and the UEFA 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."
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