FA investigating Thomas Tuchel’s comments about referee Anthony Taylor after Chelsea-Tottenham controversy

·3-min read
FA investigating Thomas Tuchel’s comments about referee Anthony Taylor after Chelsea-Tottenham controversy

The Football Association (FA) have opened an investigation into Thomas Tuchel’s comments regarding referee Anthony Taylor that followed Sunday’s fiery derby contest between Chelsea and Tottenham.

The Blues boss was left incensed after feeling that a number of vital decisions went against his side in an electric 2-2 draw at Stamford Bridge.

Tuchel - along with his Tottenham counterpart - was shown a red card after a number of clashes with opposite number Antonio Conte, while he also believed that neither Spurs equaliser should have stood.

Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg’s 68th-minute strike to cancel out Kalidou Koulibaly’s first-half volley was preceded by a strong challenge from Rodrigo Bentancur on Kai Havertz at the opposite end of the pitch, while there was also fierce debate as to whether an offside Richarlison was in the line of Chelsea goalkeeper Edouard Mendy’s vision when the Dane let fly into the bottom corner.

Chelsea also felt that Harry Kane’s last-gasp header to send the away end into raptures deep into second-half stoppage time should have been chalked off after Cristian Romero was seen yanking back Marc Cucurella by his hair at the all-important corner from which the England captain scored.

Thomas Tuchel strongly criticised referee Anthony Taylor after Chelsea’s draw against Spurs (Action Images via Reuters)
Thomas Tuchel strongly criticised referee Anthony Taylor after Chelsea’s draw against Spurs (Action Images via Reuters)

An angry Tuchel later suggested that it might be better if Taylor did not referee Chelsea matches again in future.

“Maybe it would be better, maybe it would be better,” he told reporters. “But honestly we also have VAR, to help make the right decisions. Since when can players have their hair pulled, since when is that? And if he does not see it I don’t blame him – I didn’t see it.

“But we have people at VAR who check this, and then you see it. And how can this not be a free-kick, and then a red card? How?

“This does not even have to do with the referee in this case. If he does not see something that’s why we have people to check if this is a decisive error or not.”

Tuchel then added that his players felt the same about Taylor’s decisions: “I don’t think just some of the fans think that. I can assure you the whole dressing room of us, every single person, thinks that. I can’t understand how the first goal is not offside and I can’t understand when a player is pulled by their hair, the other player stays on the pitch.

“Pull someone else’s hair, stay on the pitch and attack the last corner. This is for me without any explanation and I don’t want to accept it. Both goals should not stand and it’s a fair result because we were brilliant, deserved to win. This is my point of view.”

More than 80,000 people have since signed a fan petition calling for Taylor to be banned from officiating Chelsea games in future.

Tuchel’s comments are now being investigated by the FA and he is also set to serve a touchline ban for next Sunday’s trip to face Leeds at Elland Road, while Conte will be in the stands for the visit of Wolves to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Saturday lunchtime.

The FA could charge the German for implying bias and bringing the game into disrepute. In April, Everton boss Frank Lampard was fined £30,000 by the FA for claiming Liverpool would have been awarded a penalty if Mohamed Salah had gone down like Anthony Gordon in the Toffees’ Merseyside derby defeat.