Football Association chief executive Brian Barwick today called for referees to be respected as the controversy over Graham Poll intensified.
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho was angered by a number of decisions made by Poll, who showed six yellow cards - including two to John Terry - in the Blues' 2-1 Premiership loss at Tottenham on Sunday.
Ashley Cole and Frank Lampard also claimed Poll targeted Chelsea during the match - but Barwick has come out strongly in favour of match officials.
He told Sky Sports: 'There's always debate but I absolutely believe it's in the game's interests - at the top of the game and throughout the game - for there to be total respect to officials.
'They'll make the occasional mistake but so will managers and players - it's a part of life.
'We have 27,000 referees. We need more and need them to be encouraged to be a ref. The whole of the game has a responsibility.'
Everton boss David Moyes criticised Poll`s decision to send off James McFadden but referees' chief Keith Hackett has insisted the decision was correct.
The Scottish forward claimed he was sent off in the Carling Cup defeat by Arsenal because Poll thought he called him a 'f****** cheat' when he had in fact said 'that was f****** s***'.
Moyes was furious with the decision but Hackett, head of the Professional Game Match Officials, said both outbursts warranted straight red cards and gave Poll his full backing to continue refereeing the top matches.
Hackett told PA Sport: 'Both of those statements fulfilled the criteria of a red-card offence therefore the referee has on this occasion followed the rules.
'If one uttered those words to a policeman what do you think he would do?'