Belfast Telegraph

Jose Mourinho may ignore Blues tie entirely after stadium ban

By Matt McGeehan

Jose Mourinho is still deciding what to do today after opting not to contest his one-match stadium ban when his team travel to Stoke.

Mourinho must stay away from the Britannia Stadium following his half-time dismissal at West Ham last month and is not permitted to have contact with his coaching staff during the match.

An extract of referee Jonathan Ross' match report was released by the FA yesterday. It read: "When myself and my colleagues left the field of play at half-time, Mr Mourinho the Chelsea manager was waiting for us clearly agitated and began aggressively asking about first-half decisions.

"Rather than publicly speak to him I asked him to step into the entrance of my dressing room escorted by Simon Sutton, the West Ham United security manager.

"Mr Mourinho asked me about a tackle, an offside and a goal line clearance. I gave him brief answers to his questions. After this I asked him to leave the area.

"He refused. I asked him again. After he refused again I asked Mr Sutton to escort him from the room. At this point Mr Mourinho became very aggressive and animated.

"He shouted 'you ******* referees are weak... (Arsenal manager Arsene) Wenger is right... you are ******* weak'.

"I advised Mr Mourinho not to take his position in the technical area for the second-half due to his actions."

The Blues boss admitted a Football Association charge of misconduct over his behaviour at Upton Park and was fined £40,000 alongside the stadium ban.

Mourinho said yesterday of the Stoke game: "Maybe I will sit on the street corner with my iPad. You can imagine that it's not easy. You can imagine how I feel. And I don't want to speak a lot about it.

"I have no plans. Maybe I won't even watch the game. I cannot (have) contact, so what's the point?"

Only an appeal would have allowed Mourinho to enter the Britannia Stadium, but he has accepted the sanction.

The Portuguese failed in an appeal against a separate sanction on Thursday, a suspended one-match stadium ban and £50,000 fine for comments after the October 3 loss to Southampton.

That ban will only be imposed in the next 12 months if he contravenes FA rules governing media comments on match officials.

Mourinho suggested he feels aggrieved at his punishment and his relationship with the FA is fractious. But he is not planning to test it.

Mourinho reportedly flouted a Uefa-imposed stadium ban by hiding in a laundry skip during his first spell with Chelsea.

He refused to confirm or deny the episode yesterday, but said he was not tempted to do something at Stoke.

"No. No temptation," Mourinho added. "I'll travel with them (the team). And I will be with them until somebody stops me. I have to get out (of the bus) before (it reaches the stadium)."

Chelsea, the reigning champions, are 15th in the Premier League after six losses in their opening 11 matches and their Capital One Cup defence ended in a penalty loss at Stoke.

Mourinho's position is under scrutiny and Wednesday's Champions League win over Dynamo Kiev was Chelsea's second in six games.

He questioned whether the League Managers' Association might argue the case against stadium bans for its members, except in more extreme circumstances.

"The stadium bans should be related to something really, really serious," he said.

"It's open in the future for a stadium ban to happen many more times, unless we have our association question it in a serious way."

Assistants Rui Faria and Steve Holland will oversee the team from the touchline, furnished with plans for every event, with Mourinho taking ultimate responsibility despite being absent.

Mourinho said: "The game is unpredictable, but we can try to reduce that (by preparing for) incredible scenarios."

Belfast Telegraph


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