Blatter calls on Barcelona and Chelsea to play it fairly
LUCERNE, Switzerland, March 4 (Reuters) FIFA president Sepp Blatter called for fair play from Chelsea and Barcelona when they meet in what is expected to be a highly-charged Champions League match at the Nou Camp today.
Blatter was speaking today after a meeting of the law-making International Football Association Board which issued instructions to referees to clamp down on cheating and reckless play at the World Cup finals starting in June.
Blatter was asked his view of allegations of cheating made by Chelsea coach Jose Mourinho who accused Barcelona winger Lionel Messi of ''play-acting'' to get defender Asier Del Horno sent off in the first leg of their knockout round match at Stamford Bridge two weeks ago.
''I hope the match in Barcelona goes ahead in a manner of fair-play,'' said Blatter, ''and I hope that is so for all matches.'' When the clubs met in the competition in Barcelona last year Mourinho made allegations about referee Anders Frisk and Barcelona coach Franjk Rijkaard which led to Mourinho being fined and suspended by UEFA and to Frisk's premature retirement.
''I am sure there will be fair play this year,'' added Blatter.
Barcelona won the first leg 2-1 at Chelsea and are favourites to advance to the quarter-finals with the home leg to come.
REUTERS PG RK2049