Jose Mourinho has risked incurring the wrath of the Football Association after describing their decision to fine him a ‘disgrace’. The FA announced on Wednesday that the Chelsea manager would receive a suspended one match stadium ban as well as a £50,000 fine for comments he made in the wake of his team’s defeat to Southampton in the match before the international break.
The defending Premier League champions took the lead thanks to a Willian free kick before goals from Steven Davis, Sadio Mane and Graziano Pelle saw the away team leave with all three points. Mourinho, though, was unhappy that the match referee, Robert Madley, refused to give Chelsea a spot kick when Radamel Falcao went over in the box after a challenge from Southampton’s goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg. It appeared that Falcao was already going down before the ‘keeper touched him, leading many pundits to feel the referee had made the right decision.
However Mourinho gave an astonishing seven minute interview to Sky after the game in which he claimed that referees were ‘afraid’ to give decisions in favour of Chelsea. He said, “He was afraid to give it like everyone else is afraid to give it. Why? Because there is always a question mark from [the media] and always a critic so we are always punished. The penalty in this game is more than crucial because my team, at the moment, the first negative thing that happens… they collapse. After that the team lost even more confidence. Mentally, psychologically, the team is unbelievably down”.
Southampton’s manager, Ronald Koeman, felt that Mourinho was silly to draw attention to the referee’s refusal to give his team a penalty as the Saints also had a couple of shouts for a spot kick themselves. Branislav Ivanovic appeared to drag Virgil Van Dijk to the floor when both players were trying to get on the end of a corner, then Ramires tripped Mane in the penalty area a few moments later. Mane was also booked for simulation not long after, despite the fact that Ivanovic appeared to sweep his leg out from under him.
During his rant to Sky Sports Mourinho said, “If the Football Association wants to punish me they can. They don’t punish other managers”. It appears that the FA’s decision to take him up on his offer hasn’t gone down too well with the man himself. He said on Thursday, “I’m happy I don’t have an electronic tag. £50,000 is a disgrace. The possibility of getting a stadium ban is astonishing”.
The Blues’ manager also appeared to have another dig at Arsene Wenger, even though he didn’t mention him by name. The Arsenal manager claimed that Mike Dean was ‘weak’ and ‘naive’ after the referee fell for Diego Costa’s tricks during the fiery London derby last month. Mourinho said yesterday, “Afraid costs £50,000. Weak and naive – you can do it”. He also made reference to the fact that Wenger received no punishment for pushing Mourinho in the technical area during a match at Stamford Bridge in 2014, saying, “We can push people in the technical area. We can, no problem”.
Mourinho, speaking to the BBC’s Dan Walker for an interview with Football Focus due to be shown tomorrow, reiterated his thought that the Football Association treated him differently to other manager. He said, “You should analyse what’s happening with me, compare it with other managers. Do you think a word is comparable with a push in the eyes of everyone?
“I can’t say anything because the next time I speak, seriously a stadium ban, then after an electronic tag”.
This is not Mourinho’s first run in with the FA this season. In September he was cleared by the Football Association of making discriminatory remarks against the former Chelsea club doctor Eva Carneiro during the Blues’ opening game of the season against Swansea City. It is also not the first time he has suggested that referees working against Chelsea. Last year he claimed that there was a ‘campaign’ to influence the officials in their decisions during his team’s matches.
This is also not the first fine he has had imposed upon him by the Football Association. Over the duration of his two terms in charge of the London club he has been fined seven times for an amount totalling £181,000.
Despite his club’s tough start to the season in which they have won just two games, drawing two and losing four – with two of their losses coming at home – Mourinho insists he will not quit Stamford Bridge unless he loses the backing of the players. John Terry claimed last week that the players are still very much behind him, even though the London Evening Standard claimed this week that the manager is struggling to stay in control of the dressing room, with numerous players becoming disillusioned with the way in which he’s running the club.
The manager told Dan Walker that the newspaper’s claims are a ‘disgrace’. He said, “What they write is an absolute disgrace. I don’t need to repeat what the players are saying over the international break, they don’t have the obligation to say this. I’d say every player had the chance to go to the press with their national team, but they think about Chelsea, their manager – and I think it’s a disgrace the lengths people go to disturb people working”.
It seems unlikely that the FA will punish Mourinho further for his comments about their decision to fine him and threaten him with a one match stadium ban if he repeated the action. English football’s governing body are not as concerned about criticism of themselves as they are about questions regarding individual match officials’ integrity. Their original decision to punish Mourinho came about because they felt his comments implied ‘bias on the part of a match official’.
Chelsea face Aston Villa at Stamford Bridge on Saturday with both team’s managers under pressure. If Mourinho were to make another comment about the referee after the match he could find himself in serious pressure with the FA, whilst if his team fails to pick up all three points he could be in even more trouble with Chelsea’s owner Roman Abramovich.