Mourinho opts to fight FA misconduct charge

CHELSEA manager Jose Mourinho yesterday denied a Football Association misconduct charge and requested a non-personal hearing, but assistant Rui Faria faces a possible stadium ban after admitting two charges.

Mourinho was accused of questioning the integrity of referees’ chief Mike Riley and match official Mike Dean following a 2-1 home defeat to Sunderland earlier this month, in which the relegation battlers were awarded a late penalty.

Rather than directly criticise the pair, the Portuguese boss sarcastically said: “I want to congratulate again Mike Dean. I think his performance was unbelievable.

“And congratulations also to Mike Riley. What they are doing through the whole season is fantastic, especially in the matches that involve teams in the title race.”

Mourinho has already been punished twice this season by the FA. Earlier this month he was fined £8,000 and warned of his future conduct after entering the pitch against Aston Villa in order to remonstrate with referee Chris Foy in a match the Blues lost 1-0 and had two players sent off.

Faria accepted the misconduct charges brought against him however, after being accused of using foul and/or abusive language toward fourth official Phil Dowd and aggressive behaviour toward Dean when sent away from the dugout.

Faria, 38, faces a lengthy touchline ban or even expulsion from the stadium.

Chelsea midfielder Ramires is currently serving a four-match domestic suspension for elbowing Sunderland midfielder Seb Larsson, though is eligible for tomorrow night’s Champions League semi-final second leg against Atletico Madrid at Stamford Bridge.