Mourinho stadium ban deadline looms
Jose Mourinho has lost his appeal against the suspended one-match stadium ban and £50,000 fine handed to him by the English FA for accusing referees of being "afraid" to give decisions in Chelsea's favour after the defeat by Southampton on October 3.
The Chelsea manager has yet to decide whether he is to appeal against a second FA punishment, an immediate one-match stadium ban and £40,000 fine which could mean he is banned from the dugout at Stoke City for tomorrow's Premier League game at the Britannia Stadium.
He has until 6pm this evening to register an appeal but will have to notify the FA by midday as to whether he intends to appeal in time for an exemption for the Stoke game.
That second misconduct charge was handed down to Mourinho for comments he made to referee Jon Moss during half-time of Chelsea's defeat at West Ham on October 24. He is understood to have said to Moss, "Arsene Wenger was right, you are f*****g soft".
Mourinho's appeal against the first charge was heard by an independent appeal board yesterday who found against him, a further blow to the Chelsea manager who registered just his second win in nine matches when his side beat Dynamo Kiev in the Champions League on Wednesday night.
Mourinho's team have won only two league games since the start of September.
Should Mourinho accept the stadium ban for tomorrow he will be expected to stay away from the Britannia Stadium and its surrounding area for the duration of the match. The protocol is that the manager's last contact with his team is at the team hotel before the game.
The FA has indicated it has no plans to police the Chelsea manager who, it is alleged, ignored a Uefa stadium ban in April 2005 and was smuggled into the Munich Olympic Stadium for a Champions League quarter-final against Bayern Munich in a kit skip. In this case the expectation is that the match officials and the Premier League match delegate would be on hand to ensure that Mourinho did not break any stadium ban.
However, there are no plans by the FA or the Premier League to search Chelsea kit skips and team equipment in the build-up to the game. As the home team, Stoke could ask to search Chelsea's equipment. Chelsea received the written reasons for Mourinho's immediate stadium ban and were considering their options yesterday.
Chelsea midfielder Nemanja Matic has said that winning tomorrow would be just as important as Wednesday's Champions League victory. He said: "It is the same. Because we are not good in the Premier League, we are 15th in the table, so we have to also win on Saturday. It is going to be tough, because it is always difficult at Stoke but last season we won 2-0 and we can do the same now.
"Of course it is more easy when the coach is on the bench and especially at half-time when he can say something. But we also have other great coaches, and they will be prepared for everything. It's going to be strange of course. I think that I'm here almost two years and we have not played without a coach yet, but we will be ready."
Asked whether the players could hear Mourinho during games, Matic said: "Not really, but sometimes when the game stops and there is a foul, he shows (gestures) with the hands - and you know what you have to do. You can't really hear him because there are 40,000 people and it's difficult. Sometimes you hear him, and especially if you play on his side of the pitch.
"We want to win and we want to win also for the coach, for our club, and we know that in the last couple of weeks, when everyone has been saying we are bad, we know that we have quality.
"We know that it is not easy to recover from that, because when you play for Chelsea you always have more responsibility than other clubs, because Chelsea always want to win. Our fans are used to winning trophies. The responsibility is big for us and we are ready to take that." (© Daily Telegraph, London)