LONDON – The Football Association are appealing against the decision by an independent regulatory commission to clear Jose Mourinho of using foul language at the end of Manchester United’s Premier League match against Newcastle, the English game’s governing body announced on Wednesday.
Television footage showed Mourinho saying something, apparently in his native Portuguese, while at one point looking into a camera, as he headed towards the tunnel after the final whistle of the 3-2 comeback win over Newcastle on October 6.
But on October 31, it was announced the FA charge against Mourinho of using abusive language had been “not proven”.
Now, however, the FA have decided to prolong the case with an appeal.
“Having carefully considered the written reasons of the independent regulatory commission relating to the case involving Jose Mourinho, the FA can confirm it is appealing the decision,” the FA said in a statement.
Mourinho had been thought to have escaped a touchline ban following the original commission decision, but this now remains a possibility.
However, the Portuguese manager is expected to take his seat on the touchline for Sunday’s derby with Premier League champions and leaders Manchester City, as the appeal hearing will not take place before the international break.
The written reasons which explain the commission’s decision show that both Mourinho and the FA employed Portuguese language experts.
Mourinho accepted the words ascribed to him by the FA’s expert, but said they were an “inwardly-directed expression of relief and happiness”, with the manager asking who in fact had been offended by his outburst.
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It was a view endorsed by the commission, who ruled: “We find that JM (Jose Mourinho) was celebrating victory without aiming the words at anyone in particular.
“The words mouthed were a Portuguese colloquial profanity. Thus, the objective person would have had to lip-read JM’s mouth, and interpret Portuguese colloquialisms to accurately decipher the comments.”
Mourinho could well face questions about the appeal after United’s match away to Italian giants Juventus in the Champions League later on Wednesday.
Mourinho had been under intense pressure heading into the Newcastle game at Old Trafford, amid speculation he would be sacked as United had not won any of their four previous matches.
Newcastle went 2-0 up inside 10 minutes, but United recovered to win, with Alexis Sanchez’s 90th-minute goal sealing victory.
The 55-year-old Mourinho said after the match he had been the subject of a media “manhunt”.AFP