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Scolari slams unfair referees

Luiz Felipe Scolari fears Chelsea's Premier League challenge could be wrecked by referees who punish his team more than their title rivals.

sports Updated: Jan 31, 2009 10:36 IST

Luiz Felipe Scolari fears Chelsea's Premier League challenge could be wrecked by referees who punish his team more than their title rivals.

Scolari is convinced the Blues are being picked on by officials and highlighted Lee Probert's failure to send off Mohamed Shawky after the Middlesbrough midfielder handled when he had already been booked in Wednesday's 2-0 win at the Bridge as concrete evidence.

The Brazilian believes the likes of Manchester United and Liverpool - who Chelsea face in a crucial clash on Sunday - get more decisions going their way at home because they put pressure on referees and make life uncomfortable for them.

Scolari is determined to redress the balance and launched into a premeditated tirade during his press conference ahead of the Liverpool match that was surely timed to make sure Mike Riley, who referees on Sunday's showdown, won't be influenced by the partizan atmosphere at Anfield.

"I came here to say what I feel after 23 games," Scolari said. "I waited 23 games to look, and maybe five times there has been a chance to give us a penalty. But I never get one. And maybe red card or yellow cards for the other team? No.

"It is a big problem and has cost us points. Now is the time to say, think about this, look at games. Maybe in the future we'll get a penalty.

"It is not specific referees, but it has been a problem. In Stamford Bridge we don't have people to pressure the referees, we give the referees all the best, my players try to help the referees during the game. For us it is one thing. For the other clubs, it's another.

"Perhaps they might like to pressure us more than other teams. I've said many times to my players not to pressure referees. I've said many times 'good referees', but sometimes they make a mistake. And, at Stamford Bridge, every time.

"Away from home, no problem. Give me the statistics. Have we had any penalties until now? Only one. The other teams? 10, 12. Any players red card against my team? No."

Scolari's anger at the situation boiled over in a row with Middlesbrough assistant manager Malcolm Crosby after the Chelsea boss had waved an imaginary card at Probert in an attempt to tell the referee to send off Shawky.

The pair clashed on the touchline and didn't shake hands at full-time but Scolari was unrepentent as he revealed the full extent of his paranoia at the perceived bias against his team.

"Yes, I suggested (that Shawky be sent off) It's normal. If that was my player, it's a red card," Scolari said.

"Two yellows is a red card for my players. But not for other players. It's time to change.

"I need to help my players more than before because now I know many more things about things in England.

"All the clubs who come to Stamford Bridge make 20, 50 or 60 fouls and don't get cards, red cards. Nothing.

"They only stop the ball, kill the game. Red card. Finish. It's not a good example for people. But, when they kill my team, it's good for me."