José Mourinho has been charged with misconduct by the Football Association after suggesting referees are “afraid to give decisions to Chelsea” in the wake of Saturday’s home defeat by Southampton.
The Portuguese was infuriated that Robert Madley did not award his side a second-half penalty when Maarten Stekelenburg darted off his line and made contact with Radamel Falcao in the box. The Colombian, who appeared to have been falling when contact was made, was booked for a dive. Southampton had been denied two spot-kicks earlier in the contest when Virgil van Dijk was tugged down by Branislav Ivanovic and Ramires appeared to step on Sadio Mane’s foot.
Mourinho, whose team capitulated immediately after the non-award of the spot kick to Chelsea, appeared to acknowledge he would be sanctioned before launching into his criticism of the officials in a seven-minute monologue delivered to Sky immediately after the game. “I think, first of all, I want to say that because we are in such a bad moment you should not be afraid to be honest,” he said. “When we are at the top there is quite big pleasure in putting us down. But when you are so down I think it is time to be honest and say clearly that referees are afraid to give decisions to Chelsea.
“At 1-1 there is a huge penalty and, once more, we do not get it. It was at a crucial moment in the game. I repeat, if the FA wants to punish me they can punish me, it is not a problem. But I want to repeat because my players deserve it, Chelsea fans deserve it. I am a Chelsea fan too. I want to say again that referees are afraid to give decisions to Chelsea. Why? Because when they do give there is always a question mark from you, there is always a critic. So we are always punished.
“We are [already] punished because Diego Costa is suspended with images. In other matches we see it doesn’t happen. Clear penalties were not given. Even in the Champions League [at Porto] when we lost 2-1, a game with not three officials but five, we are not given a penalty in the last minute. And this decision was crucial. Do you know why? Because my team, in this moment, collapse with the first negative thing that happens. It was a giant penalty that he was afraid to give. Like everybody else is afraid to give.”
The FA confirmed the charge in a statement released on Monday evening, alleging Mourinho’s remarks “constitute improper conduct in that they allege and/or imply bias on the part of a match official or match officials and/or bring the game into disrepute.” The Chelsea manager has until 6pm on Thursday to respond to the charge.
Although there are no set punishments for breaches of rules such as this while conducting media duties, the manager is likely to be fined if found guilty. That would be his fourth such sanction since returning to English football in 2013, following an altercation with Chris Foy on the pitch at Aston Villa and a sarcastic appraisal of Mike Dean’s performance in a defeat by Sunderland, both in his first season back in the Premier League.
Those brought fines of £8,000 and £10,000 respectively, with the manager fined £25,000 in January after claiming a “campaign” had been mounted against Chelsea after a draw against Southampton at the end of last year. On that occasion Cesc Fàbregas had been booked for simulation by the referee, Anthony Taylor, having been fouled by Matt Targett.