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Football | Barclays Premier League

Stoke cry foul over treatment by referees



Stoke manager Tony Pulis has complained to referees' chief Mike Riley over what he regards as the different treatment his team receives by officials compared to their Premier League rivals.

Pulis suggests too many referees approach Stoke games with preconceived ideas about their style of play.

He backs up his argument by pointing to the Potters' position at the foot of the Premier League fair play table with 32 yellow and three red cards this season.

Pulis claims Aston Villa defender Ciaran Clark's unpunished challenge on Stoke midfielder Glenn Whelan at the weekend would have resulted in a red card had it been committed by one of his players.

He told regional newspaper the Stoke Sentinel: "I have spoken to Mike Riley this week. I find the whole situation disappointing week after week.

"Look at the incidents where our players are being booked or sent off, then compare them with similar incidents involving others that are going unpunished. There was the Clark one on Glenn at Villa."

Pulis added "All we have ever asked is to be treated the same as everyone else, but there are preconceptions about us that are unfair."

Pulis also wants high profile football managers such as Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger to lead the fight against players diving.

He said: "It won't come from Tony Pulis or Steve Clarke (West Brom boss). It will be interesting to see what Arsene Wenger and others will make of it because they are the ones who have power in football.

"You have to ban these players for three games and then they will soon stop diving."

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