Tottenham star Bale fears diving rep affecting refs approach

Tottenham star Gareth Bale is concerned over his reputation for diving.

Bale has held talks with a top Premier League referee to repair his reputation.

He met face-to-face with man in black Andre Marriner last week amid fears he is being singled out for special treatment.

The issue was raised when Marriner visited Spurs’ North London training ground as part of a planned annual visit by a top-flight official.

Tottenham boss Andre Villas-Boas said: “Gareth and I have spoken with the referee about the situation.

“It is a tag that, if he has gained, is unfair. Gareth has gone through a difficult time in his career.

“He has had potentially-career threatening injuries and, sometimes, for the pace that he goes at it looks like a dive from the player when he is actually protecting himself.

“He told me that. Whatever reputation he gains, he just doesn’t try to do it.

“He avoids opponents’ tackles and with the pace that he approaches challenges, it’s very difficult for referees to judge.

“It is very difficult for referees to assess the situation but it doesn’t bother Gareth in any way, shape or form so we keep doing our job.

“It was not a big agenda. But it generated a useful conversation where Gareth explained his point of view and the referee explained his.”

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