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Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 23 February 2019

Jose Mourinho: 'I was dying' while hiding in Chelsea's laundry basket in bid to beat Uefa stadium ban

Portuguese manager admits scheme in 2005 to allow him to give team talk to Chelsea players to get around punishment almost went fatally wrong

Jose Mourinho has admitted time was briefly running out for him when he was locked in a laundry basket at Chelsea.  Action Images via Reuters
Jose Mourinho has admitted time was briefly running out for him when he was locked in a laundry basket at Chelsea.  Action Images via Reuters

Jose Mourinho has revealed that a cunning ploy to get around a stadium ban from Uefa while Chelsea manager in 2005 almost turned fatal when he got stuck in a closed laundry basket with no air.

The Portuguese manager on Saturday admitted for the first time that he had indeed gone to extreme lengths to get around being banned from having direct access to his players for their Uefa Champions League tie at Stamford Bridge against Bayern Munich.

Mourinho, appearing as a pundit on beIN Sports, confirmed the long reported story that he had been transported around Stamford Bridge sitting in a basket to avoid detection from Uefa officials so as to pass on his instructions to his players before the game at half time.

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He revealed that kit man Stuart Bannister had been key to the scheme, but that it had nearly gone wrong in the end.

"I'm there since midday, and the game is 7pm," he said. "I just want to be in the dressing room when the players arrive. So I go there, nobody sees me. The problem was to leave after.

"Stewart put me in the basket. The metal one, the hard one. Puts me in there. I go in there with a little bit open, so I could breathe, but when Stewart is taking that outside the dressing room, outside the stadium, the Uefa guys are there desperate to find me.

"So when I was there, Stewart closed the box. I couldn't breathe. When he opened the box, I was dying. I'm serious. I was close to dying. I'm serious, I promise."

Mourinho is out of work at present after being fired as manager of Manchester United in December.

Updated: January 20, 2019 12:12 PM

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