Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 27 December 2014

Real Madrid ready to appeal Mourinho’s ban

Head coach of Real Madrid Jose Mourinho during a press conference
Head coach of Real Madrid Jose Mourinho during a press conference

Real Madrid say they will appeal against a five-match ban imposed by Uefa on coach Jose Mourinho for suggesting Barcelona were favoured by European football's governing body and its referees.

Uefa have also banned Barcelona reserve goalkeeper Jose Pinto for three games meaning he will miss the Champions League final against Manchester United. Pep Guardiola will now have to put 21-year-old B-team keeper Oier Olazabal on the bench at Wembley.

Mourinho has already served one match of his five having sat out the second leg against Barcelona this week and the final match of the ban is suspended, but he will not be able to lead his Real Madrid team into their first three games of the Champions League next season.

Madrid are furious with what they see as a curb on the right to express feelings of injustice at the end of a game, but Uefa have decided to make an example of Mourinho after — as they see it — he called the integrity of the competition into question.

“Every semi-final the same thing happens,” said Mourinho after he had Pepe sent-off in the second half of the Semi-final first leg 2-0 defeat to Barcelona. “They are a fantastic football team, but why three years ago, and why last year do they get to play against 10 players?”

Pepe's one match ban has not been extended and Madrid believe that indicates Uefa also believe the decision to have been harsh — a dangerous play verdict would have seen Pepe hit with a further two games.

Barcelona have three days to decide if they will appeal Pinto's punishment. He clashed with Real Madrid's Alvaro Arbeloa as players were leaving the pitch at half-time in the first leg.

Mourinho will be on the bench tonight as his side visits Sevilla knowing anything less than a win could allow Barcelona to win the title tomorrow in the Catalan derby against Espanyol. There are eight points between the two sides with 12 left to play for so a Madrid draw and a Barca victory would give them a third straight La Liga crown.

Barcelona captain Carles Puyol confirmed that Eric Abidal will be fit to start the Champions League final. The Frenchman played the last minute of the semi-final second leg after having surgery on a liver tumour.

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