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Bolton favourite Muamba fears tackling being forced out of football

Bolton Wanderers midfielder Fabrice Muamba fears tackling is being pushed out of the game.

Muamba believes refs are too quick to reach for the cards when supporters start to holler if their players go down.

He groaned: "It is a strange thing to say but nowadays you cannot tackle. Football has been paled down by the rules.

"Referees always have something to prove and they have been clamping down more heavily. People pick up yellow cards for no reason because the referee listens to the crowd.

"Teams like us, Stoke, Sunderland or Blackburn - if we tackle you, we are made to look a bad team. But if other teams put in some tackles, nobody says anything. You have to find a balance where everything is fair and square.

"Kevin Davies has had four yellow cards this season but none of them have been bookings. He's been booked because he is Kevin.

"Even Gary Cahill's sending-off at Arsenal was nowhere near a red card. But because of the reaction of the crowd, they made it look like he has done it on purpose.

"Lee Cattermole has been sent off twice this season already but I think he comes in fair and square and people react badly. He doesn't do it to harm anybody. You cannot tackle any more. It is a worry - you have to be more careful."

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