Grant - Blues scrutiny unfair

Chelsea boss unhappy at treatment from The FA

Avram Grant feels Chelsea have come in for 'unfair' treatment from the Football Association over their behaviour towards officials.

Blues full-back Ashley Cole came in for criticism after he caught Tottenham's Alan Hutton with a high tackle and turned his back on referee Mike Riley during Wednesday's 4-4 draw at White Hart Lane.

And last November, Chelsea were charged with failing to control their players in the 2-0 victory over Derby after referee Andre Marriner was confronted in the wake of a Michael Essien sending off.

But Grant believes Chelsea's respect for match officials is no worse than other sides in the Premier League.

"It is unfair from the Football Association because in the same game against Manchester United, and we saw on the video, their players ran to the referee before us - maybe they are quicker," he said.

"The game against Derby where Michael Essien got a red card, you will see that the other team were also quicker than us to surround the referee.


"If the rule was clearer it would be better for everyone. I agree that only the captain should be allowed to go to the referee, I think that would be good.

"I will not say to my players they have to do this and then they come to me and say 'why are the other teams doing it and we are not?'

"Sometimes it affects the referee but I will not say something like that to them. I say we have to give respect to everybody and I will continue to say that to them.

"One of the red cards we got (for Mikel John Obi), against Manchester United, wasn't only the decision of the referee.

"But it is a very difficult job for the referees. The game is much quicker now. The statistics show that players have less time to think in midfield and attack.

"The referee needs to take a decision much quicker. I think it is a very hard job and maybe it is time to let them use the video.

"I always say to my players that many things happen in football that we cannot control but we can control how we react.

"This year my players have reacted well to most of the situations so, I give credit to Ashley. He is a top professional who knows how to behave."

Not decisive

Grant's men go head-to-head with Arsenal on Grand Slam Sunday in what promises to be a fiery and thoroughly absorbing fixture, with the sides currently third and second in the Premier League table respectively.

But Grant does not believe that defeat for any of the top four - Manchester United host Liverpool at 1.30pm on Sunday - will put them completely out of the title race.

"I don't think any team will be knocked out the race if they lose on Sunday but there will be less chances," he continued.

"It is never finished until it is finished. That is something I've learned in my life. If Liverpool win against Manchester United maybe they still have a chance."