London – Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho was fined £10 000 (about R175 000) after his sarcastic comments about the match officials following a shock defeat against Sunderland.
Mourinho made a series of pointed remarks about referee Mike Dean and his assistants after Chelsea suffered a 2-1 loss to struggling Sunderland in the Premier League at Stamford Bridge on April 19.
The defeat marked the end of Mourinho's 77-game unbeaten run in league matches at the Bridge and dealt a major blow to Chelsea's hopes of winning the Premier League.
Mourinho was enraged that Chelsea had conceded a penalty for Cesar Azpilicueta's challenge on Jozy Altidore even though there appeared to be minimal contact with the Sunderland striker.
Chelsea's assistant manager Rui Faria responded by launching an astonishing touchline rant at Dean and the fourth official, which saw him sent to the stands and later given a six-match stadium ban.
Speaking to the media after the match, Mourinho congratulated his Chelsea players, Sunderland and then moved on to the officials.
He described Dean's performance as “unbelievable” and “fantastic”, before moving on to referees' chief Mike Riley, saying “what they are doing during the whole season is fantastic, especially in the last couple of months, especially in matches involving the teams that were in the title race, it's absolutely fantastic”.
It was found that Mourinho's comments, in themselves, did not question the officials' integrity, but amounted to disrepute and improper conduct.
A FA statement read: “Following an independent regulatory commission hearing, Jose Mourinho has been fined £10,000 in relation to comments he made after Chelsea's game against Sunderland on April 19, 2014.
“While the commission did not find that Mourinho's post-match comments called into question the integrity of the referee appointed to the above fixture and/or the integrity of Mike Riley, general manager of the Professional Game Match Officials Limited, they did find that the comments brought the game into disrepute and the charge for improper conduct was found proven.”
Mourinho also failed in an appeal against his £8,000 fine for his conduct towards referee Chris Foy at the end of a defeat at Villa Park in March.
“Meanwhile, Mourinho has lost his appeal against an independent regulatory commission's decision to fine him £8,000 in relation to Chelsea's game against Aston Villa on March 15, 2014,” the FA statement continued.
“Mourinho denied a breach of FA Rule E3 in that his behaviour in re-entering the field of play and approaching the Match Referee in an attempt to speak to him, in or around the 90th minute of the game amounted to improper conduct.
“The charge was found proven by an independent regulatory commission and that decision was upheld by an appeal panel on Thursday.” – Sapa-AFP