Mourinho hit with one-game euro ban for card debacle
Jose Mourinho's week, already a miserable one after the 5-0 filleting of his Real Madrid team in Monday night's 'Clasico' against Barcelona, took another sour twist yesterday as Uefa handed him a one-match Champions League ban for asking two of his players to get deliberately sent off, writes Oliver Brown.
The image of the Portuguese as tactical genius had been battered mercilessly by Barcelona, but further damage was inflicted by Uefa, whose sanction reflected the apparent cynicism of Mourinho's (pictured) calculations. His team was leading 4-0 at Ajax eight days ago when Xabi Alonso and Sergio Ramos received red cards for time-wasting, allegedly on their manager's orders.
Since victory over the Dutch side guaranteed Real's qualification from Group G in first place, the late dismissals ensured two of Mourinho's most important defensive players would miss only a meaningless final match against Auxerre next Wednesday, instead of carrying the threat of suspensions into the knockout phase.
Video evidence showed Mourinho in earnest consultation with Jerzy Dudek, his reserve goalkeeper, before the substitute transmitted a message to Iker Casillas, who in turn had a word in Ramos' ear. While the footage appeared suggestive rather than conclusive, Uefa's verdict indicated that Real had impugned the spirit of the game.
Mourinho was fined €40,000 and banned for two games, although Uefa ruled that the second of these be suspended for three years. Real were also ordered to pay €120,000 and given three days in which to lodge an appeal. (© Daily Telegraph, London)