FIFA: Liverpool's Crouch no cheat

FIFA sources deny referees are ready to target Liverpool striker Peter Crouch when he's in action for England.

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Former World Cup referee Graham Poll had claimed FIFA's head of refereeing Jose-Maria Garcia-Aranda singled out the Liverpool striker before the finals last year.

It is understood however that a single clip of Crouch - who could play for England against Russia on Wednesday - was just one of numerous incidents involving many different players highlighted to officials.

A FIFA spokesman refused to comment but a source within the world governing body told PA Sport: "There was no singling out Peter Crouch.

"As is usual before major tournaments, referees are briefed to watch out for certain behaviour, such as shirt-pulling and use of the elbow, and these are illustrated by video clips.

"We never single out particular players for referees to look out for.

"As it turned out Peter Crouch committed the most publicised foul of the tournament when he pulled a defender's dreadlocks before scoring against Trinidad and Tobago - and got away with it."

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