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FA Probe Poll Role

2006-11-08

FA Probe Poll Role
Article in 'The Sun'

Ref faces a ban


Ref Graham Poll faces an FA probe and possible suspension over claims he made controversial comments to Chelsea players last Sunday. In an almost unprecedented move, Soho chiefs have stopped short of backing an official in a dispute and , instead, have called for evidence of wrong doing. Blues players insist Poll told them during the 2 - 1 defeat at Spurs that "Their discipline is out of order and they needed to be taught a lesson." Left back Ashley Cole was extremely critical of Poll's decisions and cited comments made to team - mate Frank Lampard during the clash. Now both playerswill be asked for testimony by the FA - and SunSport understands Lampard will confirm Poll made the contensious statement which has called his integrity into question.

Soho Square bigwigs issued a statement yesterday in which they said they would ask for the comments of the players as well as Poll, the linesmen and the fourth official at White Hart Lane. Blues skipper John Terry was sent off for the first time in his career and is banned for tonight's home Carling Cup fourth round clash against Aston Villa. But yesterday, he complained Poll gave different versions of why the action was taken as he picked up two bookings. Terry said: "The first yellow card, there was no doubt about it. But the second one - i am still baffled by it. Nothing was said, me and Ledley King fell to the floor. The pair of us shouted at each other, i walked away, Pascal Chimbonda pushed me in the back and i carried on running. "On the pitch, Poll said it was for the barge on Hossam Ghaly when i just kept running. After the game he said it was for the fall when me and Ledley fell. He's obviously had a look at it - or got people to look at it - and decided that's the best option which covers every angle for him. I am really disappointed."

If Poll is found guilty of making inappropriate comments, he could be relegated to Football League matches or even suspended from duty altogether. Meanwhile, refs' boss Keith Hackett will meet Jose Mourinho to conduct peace talks between the champions and the game's officials. But Hackett strongly defended Poll's performance and cast doubts over Cole's claims. Hackett, head of the Professional Game Match Officials Board, said: "I have very serious doubts that one of our most experienced and world class refs would make that kind of comment. The player who has made the comments should be aware the referee, along with his assistant referees, were all wearing microphones. My assessor can hear from before kick off to the end what is being said. If anything untoward was said, i will be able to discuss it with Graham's colleagues on the day. Poll has simply insisted he did not make the comment about 'Teaching Chelsea a lesson' and he dismissed Cole's comments as 'tittle tattle'.

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