Belfast Telegraph

Mourinho questions FA

Jose Mourinho has questioned the consistency of the Football Association's disciplinary department, suggesting had a Chelsea player used his elbow in the same way Robin van Persie did at West Ham last Sunday he would have been banned.

The Chelsea boss was fined £25,000 last month for saying there was a "clear campaign" against Chelsea on the day Diego Costa was charged for treading on Liverpool's Emre Can.

Striker Costa was given a three-match ban, missing matches with Manchester City, Aston Villa and the final game of his suspension is against Everton on Wednesday night.

Mourinho's mood has lightened since opting out of media duties surrounding the draw with City on January 31 and he insisted he was happy in last Friday's return in front of the cameras.

But the Blues boss suggested he still thinks the FA is not being consistent.

"I was in a good mood the other day," Mourinho said.

"I needed a little bit more time to forget why my player (Costa) was suspended.

"I need a little bit more time to understand why some people are punished, others aren't. I need a little bit of time to process that.

"The same people (the FA) that suspended my player didn't want to suspend a player this weekend. And they could. This weekend a player could be suspended and he wasn't."

When asked which player he was referring to, Mourinho gestured with an elbow in a clear reference to Van Persie's challenge on West Ham defender James Tomkins in Sunday's draw.

The Van Persie incident was dealt with by the match officials at Upton Park, so there is no scope for retrospective punishment for the United striker.

"I know that if it was one of mine, I know," Mourinho added.

"Last season happened the same thing, when Ramires was suspended (for elbowing Sunderland's Sebastian Larsson).

"It was exactly the same thing. A Manchester City player kicked a player on the floor at Norwich and nothing happened."

That was a reference to Yaya Toure's challenge on Ricky van Wolswinkel, which went unpunished.

Mourinho refused to comment on the fact Leicester boss Nigel Pearson avoided sanction for appearing to grab Crystal Palace's James McArthur by the throat.

"I have only thoughts about myself, not about Nigel," Mourinho said.

Asked if he would have been charged had he done what Pearson did, Mourinho said: "No comments. You know."

Chelsea drew with City and secured Mourinho's first win at Villa Park last weekend in Costa's absence.

"With him could be even better," Mourinho said.

Midfielder John Obi Mikel (knee) is the only definite injury absentee for Wednesday's match, but Cesc Fabregas (hamstring) is fit again.

The Everton contest sees the return of Romelu Lukaku to Stamford Bridge after the Belgium forward struggled to break through into Mourinho's plans and was sold last summer.

Mourinho said: "He proves every weekend that he's a good player. Nobody has doubts at Chelsea that he's a good player.

"We know Romelu is a good player. (Andre) Schurrle is a good player, (Kevin) de Bruyne is a good player, (Juan) Mata is a good player.

"They are good. We don't sell garbage. We sell top players.

"We sell top players, we get top fees. (Without) top fees we don't sell them, we keep them.

"That's football, that's life, that's market. The player wishes sometimes to be in clubs where they become clearly the first option. That's football, that's life.

"If he's happy, that's good. He wanted to play all the time."

Chelsea are seven points clear of City at the top of the standings, but Mourinho is taking nothing for granted after the holders again dropped points in drawing with Hull last weekend.

"If it was 14 points with seven matches to go, you are almost, almost, almost there," he said.

"But seven matches with 14 matches to go is a long way to go. What is seven points? It's better than zero.

"In another country I would say it's a lot. In every other country the top teams only lose points in between them. This country seven points is not a lot."

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