Tottenham Hotspur Manager Harry Redknapp Is Right To Threaten Media Blackout

Jon FeatonbyCorrespondent INovember 2, 2010

LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 28:  Harry Redknapp manager of Tottenham speaks to the media at a press conference at White Hart Lane on September 28, 2010 in London, England.  (Photo by Hamish Blair/Getty Images)
Hamish Blair/Getty Images

Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp has threaten to stop doing post-match interviews if he is punished by the FA for criticising the referee followings his team's defeat by Manchester United last Saturday.

Redknapp was speaking out after a controversial goal scored by United's Nani during Tottenham's 2-0 loss.

Spurs keeper Heurelmo Gomez had put the ball down inside his penalty box to take a free-kick he believed had been awarded for a handball by Nani.

But Nani, who had been rolling around on the floor behind Gomez, got up and rolled the ball into the Tottenham net. Referee Mark Clattenburg gave the goal as he had not actually given a free-kick, but was instead playing an advantage.

After the game, Redknapp described the incident as "a farce", adding that "it was handball. Nani put his hand on it and dragged it down. Mark Clattenburg is a top referee but he has had a nightmare with that."

It's not the first time Clattenburg has caused controversy during a Spurs-United clash. In January 2005, he failed to give a Pedro Mendes goal which would have given Spurs a 1-0 victory at Old Trafford.

Replays showed that the ball had clearly travelled more than a meter over the line before United keeper Roy Carroll scooped the ball back. A decision for which an apology was never forthcoming.

Under FA rules, managers and players are not supposed offer such open criticism of officials and so Redknapp now faces the possibility of being charged over the incident.

In response, Redknapp has said he will stop doing any post-match interviews if he is charged.

His point is a good one.

Redknapp argues that he is asked questions during interviews that he is supposed to answer. What is the point of him being in front of the cameras if he is not allowed to be truthful?

Whether you agree with him over the decision to allow the goal, it is pointless having interviews if managers and players aren't allowed to express their feelings.

Sure, there is a line where honest opinion turns into verbal abuse. But they should be able to question decisions, especially when there is so much media coverage of the game that there is no shortage of evidence.

The other thing to note is that there is no barrier that I can see which would stop referees from coming out and explaining the decisions that they have taken.

Rather than hide behind a veil of silence, by addressing the media themselves they would have the opportunity to put their side of the story across.

Considering that Premier League referees are now fully fledged professionals, many of whom have several years of experience, it should not be considered beyond them to be able to explain themselves.