Cole 'Tap' Row Could Damage Chelsea's Title Chase

Article excerpt

Byline: ANDREW HODGSON

CHELSEA'S title hopes could be damaged after new evidence emerged which appeared to confirm that Jose Mourinho did tap up Arsenal defender Ashley Cole The Premiership leaders are 11 points clear of nearest challengers Manchester United but could face a points deduction from the Premier League which could hit their hopes of a first championship in 50 years.

Arsenal must now decide whether to ask the Premier League to conduct an official inquiry.

The club's vice-chairman David Dein was today considering the fresh evidence. A new witness has come forward who saw Cole, Mourinho and Chelsea chief executive Peter Kenyon discussing a move in a plush London hotel last week.

According to the Sun newspaper, the witness is an employee at the Royal Park hotel, where the meeting is said to have taken place last Thursday. The witness has signed an affidavit for the newspaper to back up their allegations.

Publicly, Kenyon and the club have steadfastly refused to deny the claims.

But one Chelsea insider who was said to have been present at the meeting privately claimed earlier this week that it hadn't taken place.

Now, it is understood, Chelsea have changed tactics with one source close to the club suggesting they will not deny it happened. …

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