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Bournemouth manager Howe: Guardiola concerns justifiable - but don't make our sport 'non-contact'

Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe was warned the FA they should refrain from making football into a "non-contact sport".

Manchester City chiefs reportedly met with referee's boss Mike Riley this week to discuss Pep Guardiola's views about protecting players. The City manager has voiced his concerns about the referee's not doing enough to ensure players don't get injured by reckless tackles.

And while Howe agrees that retrospective action - which is currently used for simulation - could be a good course of action, he doesn't want the ferocity to be taken out the game.

"No one wants to see bad or reckless tackles which injure a player," he told the Daily Echo.

"Of course you want to take out the high challenges and the ones around the kneecaps – there is no place for that in football. But I think you have to be careful you don't outlaw things to the point it becomes a non-contact sport.

"That element of the game is very important to the standard we deliver in English football. I'm not just talking about the Premier League but all levels.

"I think it has a physicality and that ability to put your body on the line and defend at all costs. I wouldn't want to change that too much.

"When I watch a lot of games around the world, there are some fouls which would never be given in our league and I wouldn't want them to be.

"You want the game to flow and don't want it to be too stop-start. The game should be about the football, not about constant restarts."

Asked if retrospectively upgrading yellow card offences was a good idea, Howe replied: "It could be a way to take away the really bad challenges.

"We are going into a day and age where there is a lot of reviewing of decisions. That seems to be very popular in the game.

"I just hope it doesn't interfere with what you see on the pitch."

About the author

Freddie Taylor

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