By Richard Clarke

Arsène Wenger is backing the Football Association's call for greater respect to referees.

The issue was highlighted on Wednesday when Ashley Cole turned his back on Mike Riley when he was being booked for a challenge on Alan Hutton in Chelsea's 4-4 draw at Tottenham. The Chelsea defender later apologised for his actions while the FA have asked for greater reverence to the officials in general.

"Yes, I endorse that," said Wenger at Friday's press conference ahead of the trip to Stamford Bridge. "But it's always a very sensitive subject before a big game and I do not want to put any extra pressure on the referee. I always hated that, to put pressure on the referees.

"I tell you something, I don't even know who is the ref on Sunday. I never care about the referee. But, of course, we have to respect them."

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Richard Clarke 20 Mar 2008