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By ESPN Staff
Nov 10, 2006

Hackett - addressing the media causes problems

Referees chief Keith Hackett is not against the idea of officials speaking to the media after matches - but admits there is only so much they can say.

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho called for referees to start holding press conferences to explain decisions after his side's stormy encounter at Tottenham last weekend.

Mourinho was angered by a number of decisions made by Graham Poll, who showed six yellow cards - including two to John Terry - in the Blues' 2-1 Premiership loss at White Hart Lane.

Hackett, head of the Professional Game Match Officials Board, told BBC Radio Five Live: 'When it comes to this question of post-match interviews we don't discourage referees and we do say to them if there is a point or a need to clarify law we are happy to do that.

'How to do that is ideally to look at the video before you make comment.

'However, when we started to do that, managers expressed concern - and I think they were correct at the time - in that a referee would start to explain fully why he had dismissed a player.

'They then saw that as a second go by the match official, trying to influence the outcome of any suspension or disciplinary matter.

'It's in that area where even myself I have to take very great care - where a player has been either dismissed or is potentially going to be charged by the FA - that I don't go too public otherwise I might be seen to be influencing the outcome of the decision and influencing or taking out the fairness in the process.'

Poll was vilified for his handling of the Spurs-Chelsea clash and came under further fire after sending off Everton's James McFadden in the Carling Cup in midweek.

As one of the country's top officials, these incidents have brought the issue of refereeing under the microscope but Hackett is hopeful the atmosphere can soon return to normal.

He added: 'That has to be the hope. We're not going to give up the fact that we are a group of referees charged with officiating Premiership games, after all it's not the referees that are committing the offences, it's players.

'It's not the referee that's trying to argue with managers and players out on the field of play. We react to the game and how it unfolds in front of us.'