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GRAHAM POLL WEBCHAT: Were Chelsea cheated? The former World Cup referee answers your questions | Mail Online

Former World Cup and Premier League referee Graham Poll answered your questions following an amazing week of Champions League drama.

Chelsea supporters in particular wanted to know how all four penalty claims were waved away.

And Manchester United followers will be keen to discover Graham's opinions of Darren Fletcher's dismissal.

Read how Graham answered your questions.
You asked...

Q: Isn't is Abidal who should have his red card rescinded. Chelsea are just a bunch of divers in the box. Iker, Barcelona

A: Iker, there is no possibility of the red card being rescinded. UEFA do not permit such a thing and I think the referee was right from the position he had to send Abidal off.

Q: Many of the controversies could be avoided if video replays, like in rugby, were used. I just do not understand why players/clubs and even referees continue to allow their seasons to be "ruined" by incorrect decisions which often cost them dearly in financial terms. Is it because controversy perpetuates interest in the game and this is worth it at any cost? Edwin, Kingston

A: Edwin, I used to disagree with the use of any TV replays when I was an active referee. However, having attended matches and watched from the TV gantry, I've now changed my opinion. I think referees could be greatly helped if they had the option of referring decisions to a TV official who is in attendance at the game and understands the match situation, but is not so closely involved with player emotion.

Q: I have just completed my 19th season as a referee - albeit at a much lower level than you experienced - and feel saddened by the events of last night. There is no doubt that our Norwegian colleague's decision-making left a great deal to be desired (I would have awarded two of the four 'strong' penalty claims) but what infuriates me more is some Chelsea players and media pundits are today jumping on the bandwagon, accusing him of being a cheat and part of some wider UEFA conspiracy. In my eyes, there is no worse accusation made against a ref at any level of being a cheat. What are your thoughts? Mike Tyas, York

A: Mike, I agree completely with your sentiments. The 'C' word for a referee is the worst possible insult, and by that I mean cheat. Ovrebo had a poor match, but gave each decision as he saw it, the same as I used to and the way you continue to. Good luck in your career.

Q: Should Drogba be made an example of? Ban him for a year from all football, send out a clear and simple message that this sort of behaviour is beyond unacceptable. You might even go as far as to call it 'a f***ing disgrace' ! I would. Mike Hamnett, Herts

A: Mike, I do not believe that players should be made examples of, but should be dealt with following a strict disciplinary code. Drogba's behaviour was certainly a disgrace and will hopefully be dealt with in a very firm manner by UEFA. I would expect a lengthy ban which will make his participation in the Champions League next year almost non-existent.

Q: Chelsea players tried to make the ref see clear as he was blind getting most of the decisions wrong. It is a human being reaction when you've been robbed in a such important game. For all these non-given penalties, what is your suggestion, just to close eyes and mouths and applaud the ref? Iyes, Dublin

A: Iyes, I expect from your comment that you're a Chelsea fan who must be incredibly frustrated at the way the evening unfurled. There is nothing which can make the players' reactions to the referee acceptable, however bad the decision. It is the players' reactions which put more and more pressure on a referee and contribute to him making the next mistake. If he was left alone, he would make far fewer mistakes.

Q Do you think this match was fixed, so there wouldn't be a repeat of last year's final? Why choose a ref from Norway when they should have had one from Italy? Is there any chance that this will be investigated and a rematch? Ken

A: Ken, no I don not believe this match was fixed. UEFA use various criteria in selecting referees and used the No 1 Italian referee in Tuesday night's semi-final. There is no possibility of a re-match.

Q: Undoubtedly last night's display was a disgrace for European football for several reasons. My main question to you Graham is will there be any repercussions on the referee or will he walk away free to officiate at this level another day? Richard Diossy, Twyford, Berkshire.

A: Richard, following such a high-profile performance, which appeared to contain many errors, the referee will have had a full assessment of his performance given to him and sent in to UEFA. If the mark awarded to him was below a certain level then he will be unlikely to get a match for UEFA for a considerable length of time.

Q: Do you think that the decision to not award the penalty for handball incident was based on the fact that the referee realised in some part that he had made a mistake with the Abidal sending off and was keen to 'even' things out?

Also, I believe that the way Ballack chased the referee down was worthy of a straight red card. And Drogba should have received a red card for his behaviour after the match rather than a yellow. Josh, Bolton

A: Josh, I do not believe that the referee would have attempted to, as you put it, 'even things out' because on the field of play he did not think that the Abidal sending off was incorrect, so there was nothing to even up. With regard to the Ballack and Drogba 'red cards' question, I would have thought that the referee flourishing a red card in their faces would have done nothing to calm their tempers.

Q: You appear to be contradicting yourself. You say today that although Darren Fletcher played the ball, his momentum then brought down Fabregas and so it was definitely a penalty. Now go back to the United v Spurs game where Gomes plays the ball and his momentum brings down Carrick. Then you said that Howard Webb got it wrong and it was never a penalty. What's the difference? Andy Clarke, Oswestry

A: Andy, there is a world of difference between the two situations which you are comparing. Fletcher made a tackle from behind which, in the referee's view, was impossible for him to complete without bringing down the opponent. Gomes came towards Carrick, palmed the ball away, and stayed low to the ground to avoid contact with the Manchester United player.

Q: Graham. As a referee myself (old class 1 now 5) I fully understand why the official had no option but to send off Darren Fletcher in the Arsenal v Man Utd game on Tuesday. However, amid all the furore over the player missing the final can I suggest a simple change that UEFA & FIFA could introduce to the competition rules as follows.

"A player who is dismissed during a semi final tie (either 1st or 2nd leg) for a non violent conduct offence only, may choose to apply to the competition sanctioning body to have the subsequent one game ban commuted to an increased ban of two games, the two game ban to start after the designated final tie of the competition to which his red card was received in that competition's semi final".

This would be limited to non violent conduct as mentioned & I believe provide a solution to the problem of any perceived injustice & also help remove the risk of excessive critiscism of any refereeing error if such an error did occur. Richard, Essex.

A: Richard, I cannot agree with this suggestion as I believe that it is the players who should change their approach if they want to avoid missing a key match like the Champions League Final. Referees do take the players' situation into account already and this new suggestion is therefore superfluous.

Q: Who do you think will win the final? Yagnesh Patel, Middx

A: Yagnesh, you might think that it would depend on where the referee comes from, but I think Manchester United will retain the trophy.

Im not fat... im sex.
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Q: Who do you think will win the final? Yagnesh Patel, Middx

A: Yagnesh, you might think that it would depend on where the referee comes from, but I think Manchester United will retain the trophy.
great post rfr was an interesting read

and lol thats gunna be ate at by scouse fans, saying the FA and refs support united lol
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