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Saturday 21 September 2019

Mourinho: What I said on Old Trafford touchline was not offensive

The Manchester United boss has been cleared of a charge of using insulting language.

Jose Mourinho swerved a potential touchline ban (Martin Rickett/PA)
Jose Mourinho swerved a potential touchline ban (Martin Rickett/PA)

By Simon Peach, Press Association Chief Football Writer

Jose Mourinho is pleased to have been cleared of a Football Association charge for using foul language as the Manchester United manager claims his touchline swearing was not offensive.

After coming from behind to beat Newcastle 3-2 late last month, amid a backdrop of uncertainty about his position, tensions boiled over at full-time as the 55-year-old made his way towards the tunnel.

Footage showed Mourinho making comments in Portuguese, at one point looking into a camera, as he headed down the touchline, leading to an FA charge for using abusive, insulting or improper language.

United vigorously contested it and an Independent Regulatory Commission decided against sanctioning him after a hearing on Wednesday.

Press Association Sport understands that move surprised the FA’s disciplinary department and could yet be appealed against, but Mourinho is happy with the initial outcome.

“You know, the reason why I ask the club and lawyers to appeal was because I was 100 per cent (sure) that I was not guilty of these charges,” the United boss said. “But you never know how it ends.

“Yes, I’m pleased but I know that I have to respect the process and I have to for what is going to happen next.

Jose Mourinho maintains what he said was not offensive (Martin Rickett/PA)

“But I only appeal if I feel that I am not guilty. I don’t appeal to lose my time or to make other people lose their time.”

The full written reasons as to how the judicial panel members reached the decision are expected to be published next week, when the FA’s disciplinary department will weigh up whether to appeal.

Mourinho’s defence will also become clear at that point, although the United manager offered a glimpse of his counter-argument in the press conference previewing Saturday’s trip to Bournemouth.

“Nobody knows what I told,” he said, before suggesting an issue at another game. “Did you watch Crystal Palace vs Arsenal?

The manager's thoughts ahead of three consecutive away fixtures...

Posted by Manchester United on Friday, November 2, 2018

“So, you know that between Portuguese, Spanish, Italians, we are saying that word five times every 10 seconds and we don’t offend anyone. Anyone.

“It’s the same thing as you English say some similar words, but a bit different.

“You are not offending. You are just frustration, happiness, here it comes. All the time.”

There had been a possibility Mourinho could serve a touchline ban at in-form Bournemouth this weekend.

Mourinho was in a cheerful mood when previewing the game, joking that questions over whether out-of-sorts Romelu Lukaku would start should be aimed at a reporter who has been getting the team early recently.

The United boss continued in a jovial mood when asked about the availability of captain Antonio Valencia, who has made ripples with some of his recent social-media posts and been absent for the past month.

“Antonio Valencia, I watched something funny in his Instagram where he says ‘work, work, work in the gym’,” Mourinho said. “He should say ‘work, work, work alone because I am injured and cannot train with the team’.

“So, the reason why he was in the gym is because he was injured and couldn’t train with the team.

“I think it looked like he was working really, really hard – and he was, but without the ball and without the team. So, you can imagine that tomorrow he is not selected because he is not ready.

“Apart from Antonio, (Marouane) Fellaini and (Diogo) Dalot (are out) and, of course, Jesse (Lingard) and Alexis (Sanchez) are in a much better position than last week because last week was an effort from them to be available to help the team.

“But now it is a different story. Now, Alexis and Lingard after one good week with the team, they are ready to play, really.”

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