Wednesday 13 November 2019

UEFA open disciplinary proceedings against Manchester United over late bus arrival and kick off against Valencia

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho
Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho

UEFA has opened disciplinary proceedings against Manchester United over the 'late team arrival' and 'late kick-off' for the Champions League match against Valencia, the European governing body has announced.

Jose Mourinho's men arrived at Old Trafford at 7.15pm on Tuesday night due to traffic in the city, leading kick-off to be put back by five minutes.

UEFA has subsequently opened disciplinary proceedings against United for "late team arrival" and "late kick-off" in the Group H match that ended 0-0.

Valencia have also been charged over the late kick-off and face others for the "setting off of fireworks" and "kit infringement". The case will go before the UEFA Control, Ethics and Disciplinary Body on October 18.

Greater Manchester Police have explained they were not to blame for United's traffic issues on Tuesday following criticism from Mourinho.

Mourinho claimed that United were "refused" an escort by GMP, which led to their journey from the Lowry Hotel taking 45 minutes longer than usual.

But GMP insisted they are no longer obliged to provide that service for every match and that the club were aware of the change in policy.

A statement from GMP said: "All police deployments are carried out following a comprehensive risk assessment process and specifically in respect of escort team buses, are only ever undertaken on occasions when there is intelligence or information to suggest a risk of threat or harm to the players.

"GMP has previously used police vehicles to accompany a team's coach but after a review of our core policing responsibilities it was decided that we would no longer provide this service at every fixture.

"We consulted with the relevant football clubs over a period of months to allow them adequate time to plan ahead for their journeys to the stadium.

"Every fixture is assessed individually and we will continue to work with all clubs to provide an appropriate policing response."

The match itself saw United extend their winless run to four games with a stuttering goalless draw that keeps the pressure on Mourinho.

In his post-match press conference after the game, Mourinho explained why his team had arrived late.

He said: "We left the hotel at six o'clock, hoping that 30 minutes would be enough, which normally is. But this time the police refused to do an escort, so we come by ourselves.

"We took from the Lowry Hotel, 75 minutes. UEFA were nice, the referee was nice to allow us to start the game five minutes later because we at least need half an hour to be prepared.

"But it was not a problem with the club organisation. We anticipate everything that it could be dangerous, in the sense of arriving late, but we were informed the police refused an escort."

United host Newcastle on Saturday in the final round of Premier League fixtures before the international break.

PA Media

The Left Wing: Champions Cup preview, the World Cup hangover and Joe Schmidt's next team

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport