UEFA punishment for Mourinho, players irritates Madrid

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

MADRID - Real Madrid and their fans are irritated at European football body UEFA’s decision, announced Tuesday, to give coach Jose Mourinho a heavy fine and a Champions League touchline ban.

UEFA’s disciplinary committee found Mourinho guilty of improper conduct for having ordered Real players Xabi Alonso and Sergio Ramos to get themselves sent off at the end of the November 23 Group G match away to Ajax.

Mourinho has been banned from the touchline for two UEFA matches - the second of which is suspended for three years - and Real have been fined 120,000 euros ($158.32 million).

Real were leading 4-0 when Alonso and Ramos seemed to deliberately provoke second bookings for time-wasting, which meant they would be suspended for their final group game and their previous cautions would be wiped out for the round of 16.

Real have already finished top of the group, having taken 13 points from five games.

Mourinho has also been fined 40,000 euros. Alonso and Ramos - both of whom helped Spain to win the World Cup in July - will have to pay 20,000 euros each.

Real goalkeeper Iker Casillas and his reserve, Jerzy Dudek, who seemed to pass on messages from Mourinho’s coaching staff, have been fined 10,000 and 5,000 euros respectively.

There has been no official reaction from the club to the sanctions, but most comments in the media and in fans’ blogs have been very negative.

However, some sections of the media have been harsher in their criticism of Mourinho than of UEFA. For example, radio station Cadena COPE commented late Tuesday that: “Mourinho has damaged the image of Real Madrid with this sad episode…He deserves to be punished for it.”

Television channel Cuatro, for its part, criticised the Portuguese coach “for making his stunt so obvious for everyone to see - and for then lying about it.”

Mourinho is also being criticized for his naive tactical approach to Monday’s Clasico match away to Barcelona, in which Real were humiliated 5-0.

Filed under: Football, Soccer

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