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FA punished Jose Mourinho for putting 'pressure' on referee Anthony Taylor

Published 16/11/2016

Jose Mourinho (pictured) was issued with a £50,000 fine and warning as to his future conduct over his comments about Anthony Taylor.
Jose Mourinho (pictured) was issued with a £50,000 fine and warning as to his future conduct over his comments about Anthony Taylor.

The Football Association has revealed Jose Mourinho's comments about Anthony Taylor that landed him a fine were deemed to have brought "an additional layer of pressure" upon the referee and created a "sword of Damocles situation".

The remarks Manchester United boss Mourinho made about Taylor last month led to him being fined £50,000 and warned as to his future conduct.

The Altrincham-based official's appointment for United's October 17 Premier League away clash with Liverpool had raised eyebrows in some quarters.

And when Mourinho was asked about that ahead of the match, he said: "I don't want to say anything about it, but I think Mr Taylor is a very good referee. But I think somebody with intention, is putting much pressure on him, that I feel it will be difficult for him to have a very good performance."

That led to the Portuguese being handed a misconduct charge by the FA, with it being alleged his remarks were improper and/or brought the game into disrepute.

Mourinho accepted his comments constituted improper conduct but denied they brought the game into disrepute.

An independent regulatory commission subsequently found the disrepute element of the charge proven, with the fine and warning then following, and t he written reasons behind the decision have now been published.

In the document detailing those reasons, it says of the commission's view on the matter: "Despite saying that he (Mourinho) did not want to say anything, he contradicts himself by offering actual comment on the match official.

"This opinion, his opinion, was that he felt it would be difficult for Anthony Taylor to have a very good performance. There was no need for Mr Mourinho to be drawn into offering an opinion.

"The regulatory commission considered this opinion to bring an additional layer of pressure and implication onto the referee which could have had a negative impact on the game."

Taylor issued four yellow cards, all to United players, in the 0-0 draw at Anfield.

The written reasons document says: "The referee's performance in the game appeared to have been unaffected by this additional pressure.

"Nonetheless, the regulatory commission judged Mr Mourinho's comments to have brought the game into disrepute.

"In many ways, they created a sword of Damocles situation. The referee was damned if he did and damned if he didn't.

"Despite Mr Mourinho's assertions that the comments were not intended to be critical of Mr Taylor and were positive in nature, the regulatory commission did not share this view.

"The regulatory commission were unanimous in their view that these comments had brought the game into disrepute and that the second element of the charge had been proven."

It also says in the document that the commission considered six previous occasions on which Mourinho, who did not request a personal hearing in this case, had seen sanctions imposed on him .

New rules were introduced in 2009 in an attempt to crack down on pre-match comments about officials which could be viewed as intimidatory or influential.

In its statement at the time, the FA said: "Clubs are being advised that any media comments by managers, players or any other club officials relating to appointed match officials prior to a fixture will no longer be allowed - such pre-match comments will be deemed improper and dealt with accordingly."

The term 'sword of Damocles' comes from an ancient Greek parable, and alludes to the precarious choices faced by those in positions of power.

Italy defender Leonardo Bonucci used the phrase after playing in his team's Euro 2016 defeat to the Republic of Ireland, knowing he was one booking away from suspension.

Bonucci said: "It's normal that having a sword of Damocles over your head is a problem, but it's our duty to always give our best."

And Juventus director general Giuseppe Marotta also used it to describe Real Madrid's rumoured intention to invoke a buy-back clause for striker Alvaro Morata next summer.

Marotta said: " The right to buy Morata back, which Real Madrid have, is the sword of Damocles hanging over our heads."

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