FA: Language No Excuse For Mourinho

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho attempted to blame his lack of English language skills for the statement that led the Football Association to fine him £50,000 and give him a one match suspended sentence, with the FA dismissing the notion.

Mourinho was incensed that Robert Madley had not given his side a penalty during the Blues’ game against Southampton before the international break. Radamel Falcao went down under a challenge from the Saints goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg, but Madley correctly waved away his appeal as it looked as though he was already falling over before he was touched by the ‘keeper.

The Chelsea boss gave an astonishing seven minute interview to Sky Sports after the match, however, in which he suggested that referees were ‘afraid’ to give his side any penalties. The rant earned him the disapproval of the FA who felt that Mourinho’s words suggested he was implying that the officials were biased; an accusation the Football Association has always made clear that they will clamp down on.

The Portuguese manager described the £50,000 fine the FA have given him as ‘a disgrace’ and called the one match suspended sentence ‘astonishing’. The self-proclaimed ‘Special One’ admitted improper conduct during a hearing about the mater, but he denied questioning the integrity of the match referee Robert Madley.

By way of mitigation for his behaviour Jose Mourinho claimed that his English isn’t very good and that there was a touch of miscommunication during the interview. The Football Association have dismissed that notion, however, saying that the manager’s English is ‘too sophisticated’ for it to be an excuse.

As well as suggesting his English language skills may not be up to scratch the Chelsea manager also felt aggrieved about the fact that other managers seem to be allowed to get away with similarly inflammatory comments. Though he didn’t mention Arsene Wenger by name, Mourinho did question why the Arsenal manager wasn’t picked up on his use of the words ‘weak’ and ‘naive’ to describe the referee Mike Dean after the London derby last month.

The Portuguese maestro also attempted to suggest that his post-match comments were made a moment when tensions were running high, but the FA panel was far from convinced. They said, “Mr Mourinho is an experienced manager and an experienced interviewee. This was not some spur-of-the-moment unguarded outburst. These were quite lengthy comments, delivered calmly and in a controlled way”.

The FA’s panel also felt that the fine they issued Mourinho was justified as previous sanctions have not stopped an escalation in his behaviour. They said, “The more than doubling of the January 2015 fine as compared with the May 2014 fine has not deterred him from this latest and more serious breach. The fair way to impose this deterrent is to suspend the ban so that Mr Mourinho is able quite easily to avoid its ever coming into effect. The matter is in his hands”.