I would be banned if I gave my opinion on referees – Costa says

The Chelsea striker has had his fair share of suspensions due to his conduct on the field, but would not risk another by voicing his true opinion of English officials.

Chelsea attacker Diego Costa says he would face a hefty suspension if he were to give his opinion on English referees.

High-profile managers such as Pep Guardiola and Jose Mourinho have recently voiced their dismay with some controversial refereeing decisions, with the latter labelling Manchester United “the champion of wrong decisions”.

Diego Costa has also had his fair share of run-ins with referees, but the Spain international opted to play it safe when asked about officiating in the Premier League.

“I am not going to give my opinion on English referees because I would get a four or five-game ban if I did,” the prolific striker told Onda Cero when asked about Guardiola and Mourinho’s recent comments.

The 28-year-old received four yellow cards in his first six league outings this campaign, but then went 10 games without a booking before eventually receiving his fifth caution, which saw him miss the win over Bournemouth due to suspension.

Costa, currently the Premier League top goalscorer with 14 goals and a further five assists in 19 appearances, has been suspended seven times since signing for Chelsea in 2014, on three occasions sanctioned for off-the-ball incidents. But the Blues star has previously complained that referees are more strict with him than with other players.

“I’ll be honest, I am targeted here, by the referees, the people… if I do something, it’s totally different than if any other players do,” he said after narrowly avoiding a red card in a game against West Ham. “It needs to be seen, that people targeted me.

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“It’s something I have to deal with and I ask God that these things don’t disturb me and don’t take the sequence of the games from me, which happens sometimes and gives me suspensions.”

Antonio Conte has been pleased with his conduct of late, though, stating that the striker has learned to control his temper.

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