No new advice on tackling says referee chief Mike Riley


Referees have been given no new advice on how to interpret tackles, according to Mike Riley, general manager of the Professional Game Match Officials.

A number of high-profile dismissals over recent weeks have caused some debate within the game as to whether or not officials have been told to aggressively enforce Law 12.

But in a statement released today, former Premier League referee Riley revealed that nothing had changed and that clubs had been brought together to discuss the recent flurry of talked-about dismissals.

"We wanted to get a collective game view rather than just a referee view as to where to draw the line," Riley said.

"The consensus was that there will always be tackles that are borderline but it's important to return to the message that the players have consistently had over the last three years.

"That message is that if you commit to a tackle that's at speed and with intensity, typically with both feet off the ground, then you put yourself at risk of being sent off."

Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany was dismissed during his side's FA Cup defeat to Manchester United last month after referee Chris Hoy deemed his tackle on Nani had crossed the line of acceptability.

That led manager Roberto Mancini to question the decision, but Riley says tackles need to remain within a clearly-defined law.

He added: "The Law specifies the distinction between careless, reckless and excessive force. Ultimately, it's about determining the difference between yellow card and red card offences.

"We know that 70% of tackles are clean and 25% are fouls which are careless and require no further action. That's great credit to the skill of the players and the responsibility they take towards their opponents."

Clubs will receive DVDs from PGMOL next week reinforcing the message, while they have already received written guidance to explain the difference between careless tackles, reckless tackles and tackles using excessive force.