Clat­ten­burg ad­mits to ´game­plan´ in in­fa­mous Chelsea-Tot­ten­ham clash

Tehran Times - - WORLD SPORTS -

Former Pre­mier League ref­eree Mark Clat­ten­burg has ad­mit­ted go­ing into May 2016’s in­fa­mous 2-2 draw be­tween Chelsea and Tot­ten­ham with a “game­plan” in or­der to not be blamed for Spurs’ fail­ure to win the Pre­mier League ti­tle.

Mauri­cio Po­chet­tino’s men needed to beat Chelsea at Stam­ford Bridge to keep their hopes alive and went 2-0 up be­fore the break, but they ul­ti­mately let that lead slip in an ill-tem­pered sec­ond half.

In to­tal, Spurs picked up nine yel­low cards to Chelsea’s three, while record fines of £375,000 and £225,000 were handed out to the clubs for fail­ing to con­trol their play­ers. On top of that, Spurs’ Mousa Dem­bele re­ceived a six-match ban for ap­pear­ing to eye-gouge Chelsea’s Diego Costa.

Now the head of ref­er­ee­ing for the Saudi Ara­bian Foot­ball Fed­er­a­tion, Clat­ten­burg has ad­mit­ted that he could have sent off three play­ers and that he went into the match with the in­ten­tion of let­ting Spurs “self-de­struct” so he could not be blamed for them los­ing the ti­tle to Le­ices­ter City.

“I went in with a game­plan, that I didn’t want Tot­ten­ham blam­ing Mark Clat­ten­burg that they were go­ing to lose the ti­tle,” he told NBC’s Men in Blaz­ers pod­cast.

“There should have been three red cards to Tot­ten­ham. I al­lowed them [Spurs] to self-de­struct so all the me­dia, all the peo­ple in the world went: ‘Tot­ten­ham lost the ti­tle’.

“If I sent three play­ers off from Tot­ten­ham, what are the head­lines? ‘Clat­ten­burg cost Tot­ten­ham the ti­tle’.

“It was pure the­atre that Tot­ten­ham self-de­struc­ted against Chelsea and Le­ices­ter won the ti­tle.

Put to him that he had, to an ex­tent, scripted the match, Clat­ten­burg ex­plained: “I helped the game. I cer­tainly ben­e­fited the game by my style of ref­er­ee­ing.

“Some ref­er­ees would have played by the book; Tot­ten­ham would have been down to seven or eight play­ers and prob­a­bly lost and they would’ve been look­ing for an ex­cuse.

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