LONDON – The threat of a touchline ban hanging over Jose Mourinho was removed Wednesday when a Football Association charge brought against the Manchester United manager for using foul language was declared “not proven”.
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 comeback win over Newcastle.
He also made a gesture with his right hand while speaking, pointing with his little finger.
But a statement issued by the FA said: “A charge against Jose Mourinho for allegedly using language which was abusive and/or insulting and/or improper has been found not proven following an Independent Regulatory Commission hearing today.
“It related to an incident at the end of the Manchester United versus Newcastle United game on 6 October 2018.
“Written reasons for the decision of the Independent Regulatory Commission will be published in due course. This decision is subject to appeal.”
The full written reasons are likely to be published next week, when the FA’s disciplinary department will consider whether to lodge an appeal.
BREAKING: José Mourinho has been charged following Manchester United’s game against Newcastle United on 6 October 2018. pic.twitter.com/r6rQosYa2w— Sky Sports News (@SkySportsNews) October 16, 2018
Mourinho had been under intense pressure heading into the Newcastle game at Old Trafford amid speculation he would be sacked, regardless of the result, with United not having 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, who said after the match he was the subject of a media “manhunt”, added when asked about the gesture: “It is a finger. Smaller than the others, but it is a finger.”
Jose Mourinho vs Newcastle - A movie pic.twitter.com/21PbsTM5ws— Football (@DeleFootball) October 7, 2018