The Football Association have given Jose Mourinho a one match suspended stadium ban and have fined him £50,000 for comments he made about match officials in the wake of Chelsea’s loss to Southampton at Stamford Bridge.
In an astonishing rant to Sky Sports in the aftermath of the 3-1 home loss to Ronald Koeman’s side Mourinho said that referees are ‘afraid’ to give decisions to Chelsea and that the defending Premier League champions were ‘always punished’ because the media leave a ‘question mark’ about them.
The Portuguese manager was upset by referee Robert Madley’s decision not to give his team a penalty when Radamel Falcao was brought down inside the area, despite the fact that Falcao appeared to be going over before he was touched by the onrushing Southampton goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg. Mourinho said, “It was a big penalty for us. Not small, not doubtful. Big. Huge. That was a penalty. We don’t get decisions and I think referees are afraid to give decisions to us. When we are top I understand everyone wants to push you down, but when you are down give us a break”.
Mourinho’s complaint also seemed to ignore the fact that Saints were denied two penalties themselves by Madley, leading Koeman to say in response to his counterpart’s complaints, “In that case it should have finished 2-5”.
Chelsea took the lead early in the match thanks to Willian’s free kick – his third goal direct from a free kick in as many games – before Steven Davis struck an equaliser and Sadio Mane put the Saints in the lead. Graziano Pelle scored an angled finish to guarantee Southampton the win, leaving Chelsea in 16th place in the league table.
Southampton’s two penalty shouts both came in the first half. The initial one came about when Branislav Ivanovic appeared to drag Virgil Van Dijk to the ground whilst defending a set piece. The second solid shout came when Ramires stood on Sadio Mane’s boot in the box, bringing him to the floor. Moments later the referee incorrectly booked Mane for simulation when Ivanovic appeared to swipe his legs away as the forward was on the attack.
The Football Association’s decision to charge the Portuguese manager is based on the notion that his comments ‘imply bias on the part of a match official’. The £50,000 will be payable immediately, but the suspended nature of his stadium ban means that it will only be enforced if he commits the same offence within a year.
Mourinho likely genuinely believes that his team is suffering from refereeing decisions, but he has also been known in the past to distract from his team’s poor performances by shifting the story somewhere else. Given that the loss to Southampton was Chelsea’s fourth loss of the season and their second loss at Stamford Bridge, meaning it’s possible he’s trying the same thing again.
The defending Premier League champion’s next game is against Aston Villa this weekend, with both managers being under extreme pressure given their respective team’s performances so far this season. Tim Sherwood’s Aston Villa team sit in 18th position with just four points to their name, whilst Mourinho’s men have only amassed eight points after eight games, with two wins, two draws and two losses.
Speaking to Sky after the loss Mourinho said of the FA, “If the Football Association wants to punish me they can. They don’t punish other managers”. It seems as though the FA have chosen to take him up on his offer. A Chelsea spokesperson, speaking to the BBC, said that the club wanted to read the FA’s full reasoning before they would make any comment on their verdict and decision to punish the Chelsea manager.