You are viewing the content for Wednesday 22 February 2006

Rijkaard rejects dive claims

By Matt Barlow
BARCELONA boss Frank Rijkaard insists he will never ask his players to dive and cheat.

The Dutchman was reacting to Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho, who said the Spanish culture was to try to trick referees.

But Rijkaard said: "I am honestly not in favour of diving players and getting an advantage from something that didn’t happen.

"It’s not something I will be talking about to my players. That’s not the way to win a game for me. It’s all about quality."

The Dutchman was at pains to point out the two clubs were not at war.

Rijkaard said: "There’s no bad feeling between the teams. I think Chelsea are a great club. They do a great job and they are wonderful opponents.

"We love to play this game and I hope it’s an exciting game again."

Rijkaard tried to diffuse the row about the state of the Stamford Bridge pitch saying: "Chelsea are doing the best they can to make the pitch playable and to get it as good as possible."