All teams are guilty of crowding referees, says Chelsea captain John Terry

The defender insisted that it was a tactic common to all teams and that fans wanted the players to support one another

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The Independent Football

John Terry defended his team-mates for swarming around  referee Bjorn Kuipers during their Champions League defeat to Paris Saint-Germain, saying it is just “part of the game”.

Nine Chelsea players surrounded Kuipers after a Zlatan Ibrahimovic tackle on Oscar on Wednesday night, which saw PSG’s Swedish striker given a straight red card. Chelsea’s antics led to widespread condemnation – Graeme Souness called it “totally unacceptable” – but Chelsea captain Terry said late on Wednesday that he was showing necessary solidarity with his stricken team-mate.

“Once [the PSG players] are charging the ref, the only thing we can do is respond,” Terry explained, after the 2-2 draw which saw Chelsea eliminated on away goals. “You cannot, as a group of players, let them surround the ref, trying to get our players booked.


“For me, if I have to run 20 or 30 yards, it doesn’t look great. But when you’re standing back, seeing five or six of their players surrounding the ref, I support my team-mates. And once I go, four or five go with me. It doesn’t look good at all, but that’s part of the game. We will match it if people want to mix it, that’s part of our game as well.”

Terry insisted that it was a tactic common to all teams, not one that Chelsea were especially bad at, and that fans wanted the players to support one another. “You have to stick up for your team-mates,” Terry explained. “The fans want to see that and that’s the same with every side. Every other side is as bad as each other. It’s part of the game.” Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho promised that they would look at the game in detail to pinpoint exactly what went wrong. The players came in today for what was described as a calm and measured de-brief.

Chelsea have just 11 Premier League games left this season, starting with Southampton at Stamford Bridge on Sunday, where they can cement their place at the top of the table. Terry and Gary Cahill both said that the players would be pushing hard to win their first title for five years.

“We’re still a few points clear and there is an awful lot to do but it’s in our hands and we have to respond,” Terry said. “As a group of players, there’s enough experience in the squad to rally round and get everyone going again. We’ve got the Capital One Cup out of the way, that’s in the pocket and the Premier League is all we’ve got now so it’s a massive one to go for.”

Cahill said the players were especially determined not to let their European exit restrict their push for the title. “Whether you win ugly or win playing great football is irrelevant at this stage,” he added. “Unfortunately, we didn’t win so now there will be a massive, massive push to the end of the season to get the job done in the League.”

No Uefa reprieve for red-carded Ibrahimovic

Paris Saint-Germain will not be able to overturn Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s red card despite Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho calling on Uefa to cancel the sending-off.

The European governing body has announced that referees’ decisions are viewed as final unless it is a case of mistaken identity.

Uefa’s position means Ibrahimovic will be banned for at least one match for the red card, which was shown for a foul on Chelsea midfielder Oscar but judged by many as harsh.