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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Feb 26, 2007

Hackett calls for action over Carling Cup brawl

Referees' chief Keith Hackett is looking to the Football Association to deal with the 'unseemly' brawl which marred yesterday's Carling Cup final between Chelsea and Arsenal at the Millennium Stadium.

And he believes match referee Howard Webb dealt 'calmly and firmly' with the situation - he sent three players off - but insists managers Arsene Wenger and Jose Mourinho should not have come on to the pitch to help break up trouble.

Hackett, general manager of the Professional Game Match Officials Board, said: 'Howard and his assistants had a good game on that incident which was out of character from the rest of the match.

'They dealt calmly and firmly with it and after consultation Howard took appropriate action.

'His report will go into the FA today and they will look at those unseemly situations that arose. It was a pity because it was a fantastic game.'

Hackett is anxious that Webb presents his report without interference, insisting on BBC Radio 5 Live: 'I have not contacted Howard yet. I will speak to him some time today.

'He has to put his report in and it is important I do not get involved in a debate. I do not want to influence the outcome of the report. It is important the FA deal with this independently.'

The referees chief does not believe managers should encroach on the field of play during such incidents.

He added: 'Players and managers have a responsibility and I know the Professional Footballers Association and League Managers Association will give out the appropriate advice.'

Asked if managers should run on to the pitch even though they were trying to quell the trouble, Hackett said: 'No. This will be looked at by the FA. It was done with all good intentions but what we need is for those other than players to stay off the field, apart from security.'

Video replays indicated that Arsenal striker Emmanuel Adebayor should not have been sent off and that Emmanuel Eboue appeared to strike Chelsea defender Wayne Bridge.

'I think players came together and I have no doubt the FA will look at the videos carefully and they will deal with it in their usual manner.'

Hackett does not believe there is a wedge between referees and players although Wigan manager Paul Jewell has stoked up the argument with his attack on Phil Dowd.

Jewell also claimed that it was 'nonsensical' for Wigan to be fined £25,000 for having six players booked against Newcastle yesterday.

Hackett said: 'It is the picture people get when they read papers and listen to the media.

'We discuss these situations and try to deal with them privately and efficiently with managers who get over-excited.'