x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Jose Mourinho prepares to take Uefa Champions League ban to CAS

Jose Mourinho will go head-to-head with Uefa again by contesting his five-match Champions League ban at the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Jose Mourinho will go head-to-head with Uefa again by contesting his five-match Champions League ban at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

Sanctioned for what Uefa described as "an inappropriate statement" following his team's Champions League semi-final loss to Barcelona, the Real Madrid manager will petition to overrule the disciplinary decisions of European football's governing body.

Real will support the attempt to lift a ban that prohibits Mourinho from communicating with players and staff before and during matches. The club have hired Jean-Louis Dupont, the lawyer who won the Bosman case, to prepare their appeal against Uefa and Mourinho is understood to be preparing a dossier to present to CAS defending his right to question decisions made in Barca's favour.

The five-match suspension and €50,000 (Dh261,5000) fine followed Real's 2-0 first-leg defeat at the Bernabeu. Mourinho was sent to the stands for sarcastically applauding referee's Wolfgang Stark's decision to show a straight red card to Pepe for a challenge on Barcelona full back Dani Alves.

In his post-match news conference, Mourinho asked why Barcelona, who face Manchester United in Saturday's Champions League final, have been consistently favoured by referees.

"It's clear that against Barcelona you have no chance," Mourinho said. "I don't know if it's the publicity of Unicef [Barca's sponsors], I don't know if it's the friendship of [Spanish football federation president Angel Maria] Villar at Uefa, where he is vice president.

"I don't know if it's because they are very nice, but they have got this power. The rest of us have no chance.

"[Pep] Guardiola is a fantastic coach, but he has won one Champions League which I would be ashamed to win after the scandal at Stamford Bridge and this year, if he wins it again, it will be after the scandal at the Bernabeu.

"Why is it that a team of this dimension, a fantastic team, needs something which is obvious to everyone? Everyone can see it. I have a question that I hope one day somebody can answer.

"Why [referee Tom Henning] Ovrebo? Why [Massimo] Busacca? Why [Frank] de Bleeckere? Why Stark? Because in every semi-final the same thing happens."

Among the incidents Mourinho referred to were Barcelona's defeat of Chelsea in the 2009 semi-final when Ovrebo denied the home team a series of strong penalty claims and the 2010 semi-final when De Bleeckere red-carded Inter Milan midfielder Thiago Motta after 28 minutes.

He also mentioned Arsenal striker Robin van Persie's bizarre Camp Nou sending off by Busacca in this season's round of 16.

Barcelona's influence within the highest echelons of Uefa is primarily attributed to Villar and Senes Erzik, both vice presidents of its executive committee and the principals of its referees committee.

Barcelona supported Villar's re-election as the president of the Spanish federation after Real promoted an opposition candidate. Madrid feel the federation is now prejudiced against them.

Erzik, a Turk who also chairs Uefa's Club Licensing and Fair Play committees, is a former senior project manager for Unicef. In 2006, Unicef agreed a five-year partnership with Barcelona that allows the organisation to publicise their logo on the team's shirts free of charge.

Mourinho has repeatedly questioned the two-match suspension Uefa served on him for "cleaning" yellow cards in Real's group stage game with Ajax. He argues that the practise is commonplace in European club competitions, and that other clubs and coaches have not been punished for the act.

Last week, Uefa dismissed Real's claim that Sergio Busquets had racially abused their defender Marcelo during the semi-final "due to a lack of strong and convincing evidence". Though video images appeared to show Busquets directing a slur at the Brazilian, the Barcelona midfielder is free to face United in Saturday's final.

sports@thenational.ae