Monday 24 October 2016

Jose Mourinho may appeal stadium ban for Chelsea trip to Stoke

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho

Jose Mourinho could yet challenge the stadium ban which banishes him from Chelsea's trip to Stoke on Saturday after the beleaguered boss lost an appeal against a separate Football Association sanction.

Mourinho's fractious relationship with the FA deteriorated further on Thursday as he failed in his appeal against a suspended one-match stadium ban and £50,000 fine.

The self-proclaimed Special One was sanctioned for implying match officials were biased against the Premier League champions in comments made following the October 3 loss to Southampton.

It was a charge he rejected, but his appeal was thrown out, the FA announced on Thursday.

Chelsea are understood to be disappointed with the appeal failing and are still mulling over whether to challenge the punishment which forbids Mourinho from entering the Britannia Stadium this weekend.

The Blues are still to pore over the written reasons before making the decision.

The ban was imposed following his half-time dismissal at West Ham last month.

The Blues boss "admitted an FA charge of misconduct regarding his language and/or behaviour towards the match officials in or around the dressing room area" at Upton Park and was fined £40,000 alongside the stadium ban.

Only if Chelsea appeal against that penalty will Mourinho, who is slated to speak to the media on Friday lunchtime, be permitted to enter the Britannia Stadium or surrounding area on matchday.

Chelsea, the reigning champions, are 15th in the Premier League after six losses in the opening 11 matches.

Wednesday night's Champions League defeat of Dynamo Kiev was Chelsea's second win in six matches since Mourinho was the subject of the first managerial vote of confidence in Roman Abramovich's 12-year ownership, easing the pressure somewhat on the embattled boss.

But his relationship with the FA remains at rock bottom.

The 52-year-old Portuguese was angry referee Robert Madley did not award a penalty when Radamel Falcao was instead booked for diving in a 3-1 loss to Saints.

Mourinho afterwards said officials were "afraid" to give Chelsea decisions and added: "Be honest with us and give us what you have to give, and it's a big penalty."

A statement from the FA on Thursday read: "The appeal board has upheld the original sanction and therefore it remains that Mr Mourinho's suspended stadium ban will be immediately invoked should he be found by an independent regulatory commission to have committed a further breach of FA rule E3 for any comment or statement to or through the media before October 13, 2016."

There may have been another defeat - this time off the field - but fragile confidence was boosted by Wednesday's win, when the home crowd made clear their support for Mourinho.

Mourinho, who signed a new four-year contract, until June 2019, on the eve of the Premier League season, was overjoyed by the backing of the Blues support.

The caveat in the vote of confidence on October 5, following the Southampton loss, was that results must improve.

It has taken time, but morale has been boosted by the defeat of Dynamo and the forthcoming fixture list - after Saturday's tricky Premier League clash at Stoke and the international break - looks favourable as Chelsea bid to build momentum.

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