Chelsea Fans and Well-wishers UEFA sign now






Tuesday, March 29, 2005


Mr Lennart Johansson,
UEFA Headquarters,
Nyon, Switzerland.



Dear Mr Johansson,


A PETITION TO UEFA BY FANS AND WELL-WISHERS OF CHELSEA FOOTBALL CLUB



We, fans and well-wishers of Chelsea Football club, have watched with dismay the growing rift between the club and UEFA and the attempt by UEFA and a cross-section of the press to paint the Chelsea management, some of the clubs personnel and even fans in bad light, without as much as doing the homework required to justify some of the views youve been expressing through your agents and the press since the controversial Champions League game at the Nou Camp.


(1) UEFA AND THE NOU CAMP INCIDENTS:

There were three incidents that comprise the controversy at the Nou camp:
(a) The Chelsea players late arrival on the pitch for the second half.
(b) The refusal of the Chelsea team to address the post-match press conference, apart from the statement read out by Chelsea Football Club spokesperson, Simon Greenberg, indicating there was an incident they werent happy about and which they intend to report to UEFA.
(c) Josй Mourinhos accusation against Frank Rijkaard, the manager of Barcelona FC and Anders Frisk, the match referee.

The fact is that (a) and (b) were reactions to an incident that happened at half-time. However, while we believe that the Chelsea team have a right to choose whatever method they deem fit to express their discontent, we also believe that they ought to be aware of the consequences of their action under UEFA rules. We believe that breaking the rules or flouting the protocols of the game, even when you believe that the referee and the home manager are/were in collision to affect the outcome of the game isnt in the best interest of everyone, even though it may help in focussing more on your complaints.

We believe the Chelsea team made a deliberate decision not to appear as at when due for the second leg and not to address the press in the post-match period very much aware of the consequences; but we sympathize with them for the decisions they took in that period because of the graver issue in (c). Thus, while we would not question UEFAs right to enforce the rule with regard to those minor breaches of protocols, we call on the body to look at the whole picture in relation to other events of the day.

Now, it is your organizations reaction to Mourinhos accusation of Frisk and Rijkaard right from the Nou Camp that troubles us. Mr William Gaillard, UEFA Director of Communications and Public Affairs is on record to have immediately dismissed this accusation, claiming they had representatives in the area who saw nothing; yet, so much inconsistency has bedevilled the UEFA account of event, quite apart from the fact that it is extraordinarily shocking to listen to the adjudicators/administrators dismiss an accusation that quickly, even before getting a formal complaint.

In recent days, a section of the press that bothered to investigate have been reporting that indeed meetings did take place between Frisk and Rijkaard at half-time, but the dispute remains as to where they met. For instance, On Wednesday, March 23, 2005, in his column in The Times of London titled, UEFA cherishes role as judge and juryso Mourinho can go hang, the inimitable Martin Samuel took UEFA to task over their conduct in this affair with facts clearly showing that their arraignment of Mourinho and Chelsea is indeed a farce in fact, he appropriately drew parallels between the forthcoming Chelsea show trial with an episode of the disturbingly comical Blackadder!

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,8305-1537541_1,00.html

(See APPENDIX I below for the commentary)

Then, on Thursday, March 24, 2005, the UK-based Daily Express newspaper reported on pages 82 and 83 what it says is an EXCLUSIVE by two of the most respected sports journalists in the business, Harry Harris and Mark Fleming. The report titled, Rijkaard did speak to ref claims UEFA admit Barcelona coach met Friskbut not in the dressing room again exposes the fact that Rijkaard indeed met with Frisk, not once, but twice! And this isnt something they made up its right there in UEFAs own report!

(See APPENDIX II below for the full newspaper report)

Without a doubt therefore, it is highly risible for UEFA to be making such ferocious and intemperate charges against Mourinho, Steve Clarke, Les Miles and Chelsea, practically accusing them of lying when they have facts at their disposal corroborating the core accusation that Rijkaard indeed met Frisk in questionable circumstances at half-time. Anyone reading UEFAs charges would think the Chelsea people simply manufactured the whole accusation, whereas the fact that UEFA are claiming they didnt meet in the referees dressing room does not affect the substance of the accusation, which is that they met at half-time. Furthermore, there are reports (some quoting Mr Gaillard) that Anders Frisk sent Rijkaard back to the Barcelona dressing room, which then raises the question as to what Mr Rijkaard was doing, where he was going or where he was to warrant such a redirection from Frisk, if indeed its true.

Of course, we are not unaware of the song and dance being made by a section of the press over Mourinhos so-called admission to not seeing Rijkaard himself go into Frisks dressing room, as supposedly reported/written in the Record Dez, a Portuguese magazine; yet, the fact is that at no time did Mourinho say he saw Rijkaard go into the dressing room himself. In all public speeches made thereafter, hes maintained he acted on reports from his staff. And, consistent with that, the Chelsea formal case to UEFA has been that he acted on the report of certain Chelsea personnel who witnessed or were made aware of the meeting. It is funny that UEFA that were quick to tell us (through your Chief Executive, Mr Lars-Christer Olsson) that Mr Volker Roth did not actually call Mourinho an enemy of football - being that we and the press have simply jumped to conclusions because we have problems understanding the German language - couldnt give Mr Mourinho the same benefit of doubt, even as he was being translated from Portuguese to English. And unlike My Roth, Mourinho did not open his mouth to say he saw Rijkaard go into the referees dressing room. In fact, fluent Portuguese speakers contend that what is being translated as When I saw Rijkaard entering the referees dressing room in its original Portuguese could have been interpreted in several other ways. For instance, there are those who believe it could have been interpreted as When it dawned on me that Rijkaard had entered the referees dressing room, When it became clear that Rijkaard had entered the referee dressing room or When I realized that Rijkaard had entered the referees dressing room, etc, all of which would be consistent with the fact that he was acting on the report given to him by his staff. Obviously, Josй Mourinho cannot say anything on this for now for legal reasons, since your organization has revealed through Mr Gaillard that this is some evidence of contradiction you want to use against him; but it is easy for even non-legal minds to see that the issue of whether or not Mourinho saw him has been superseded by the fact of the meeting itself being admitted in UEFAs report.

We think the crucial contradiction UEFA should focus on is the one coming from within the rank of Mr Frisk. For instance, there are telling contradictions in the claims of the fourth official, Mr Martin Ingvarsson and those of Frisk and Rijkaard. Mr Ingvarsson claims Rijkaard never met Frisk at halftime, but that they only shook hands in the tunnel before the game; yet, Rijkaard and Frisk admit to meeting at half time, even if they claim this was just a brief shaking of hands and to just say hello. In fact, Rijkaard claimed to have met Frisk at halftime because he wasnt able to do so before the beginning of the game.

It is therefore clear that Gaillard and those instructing him within the organization are grappling at the Record Dez article as drowning men will grapple at any straw, because whether Mourinho saw it himself or not is immaterial. It is enough that UEFAs own findings have indicated that there indeed was a meeting between Rijkaard and Frisk, which Mr Keith Hackett, the general manager of Professional Game Match Officials Ltd, the body representing Premiership referees thinks should have been avoided because it does not look right. The referee does not have to explain his decisions there is no gain for him to do this, he explained. So, without question, it is Mr Frisk and Rijkaard that indeed poisoned the ambience of the game and not the Chelsea people who have reasons to complain at half-time, even though they were leading 1-0.



(2) MR FRISK AND THE INTEGRITY OF CHELSEA SUPPORTERS:


Everyone is quick to sympathize with Mr Frisk once he threw in the towel, but no one is asking the basic questions here. This is a man whose integrity is in question over the Nou Camp affair accusing some persons (quickly and popularly interpreted as Chelsea supporters) of threatening him, prompting his retirement. Why are we not asking Mr Frisk why hes not making this a police matter? If he feels so scared as to suddenly leave the game, wouldnt a report to the police and a determination to get to the bottom of it all be his paramount considerations? Why are the whole sympathetic UEFA hierarchy not insisting for Mr Frisk to report to the police and follow this up? Why are they suddenly not keen on catching the person(s) behind the so-called threat(s) anymore? We are all very ready and willing to take Mr Frisks word for it when what is at stake is the integrity of Chelsea Football Club and its supporters. Does anyone think we the law-abiding Chelsea supporters have no reputation to protect? Why would any Chelsea fan bother with Frisk when we had already qualified for the next stage of the Champions League? Why would anyone bother with him when whatever crimes any fan or fanatic thought then hed committed against Chelsea had effectively come to nought at the end of the second leg? Why would a seasoned referee like him, known to have gone through some real harrowing experience doing the job on the pitch, suddenly retire because of some email or telephone calls - like some wimpy rookie just discovering the hazards of the job? Why is he (and his backers within UEFA) not taking up Chelseas request to provide the club with evidence of this threat so that they can act against the supposed supporter(s)?

Obviously, it is okay for Mr Frisk to damage the reputation and integrity of Chelsea supporters without any iota of evidence in the public domain, but quite a sacrilege for anyone, including a leading manager in the game he was officiating to voice concern over his meeting with the opposition manager! Mr Frisk has given us no reason to believe him; hes given us no reason to believe that any Chelsea fan threatened him and, as far as hes yet to do that; as far as hes yet to take up the offer of Chelsea Football Club to forward the evidence to the club for appropriate action, the press should stop playing him up like a victim. Chelsea supporters, as far as we know, are fun-loving, law-abiding people. We understand that its only a game and we are civilized enough to know that decisions sometimes can go for or against you. What we cannot stand is this attempt to blackmail our club into silence and to punish us for something for which we should be praised. UEFA must know that the whole world is keenly watching.




(3) THE ROLE OF WILLIAM GAILLARD, THE UEFA AND FIFA HIERARCHY:


Right from the Nou Camp, Mr Gaillard has clearly set out his stall to discredit Chelsea and Mourinho even before UEFA got to receive Chelseas formal complaint. The press is replete with his countless attacks on Mourinho, Chelsea and the Chelsea fans. These are attacks that absolutely have no basis outside prejudice and it is a shame that even some characters in the press are unreasonably blaming Chelsea for the negative volubility of Mr Gaillard when all the club did until the charge was made was to totally ignore him! Keen followers of this whole crisis would note that since the 23rd of February, 2005 when the first leg of the Champions League tie was played in Barcelona till today, no single day has passed without Mr Gaillard making prejudicial and damaging comments about Mourinho and Chelsea. And while it is now fashionable for some to heap all the blame on Mr Gaillard, they seem to have forgotten that the man is the agent and spokesperson of UEFA and that he couldnt have been speaking on his own without clearance from his bosses. While we are all aware that UEFA has no precedence for such a crisis as this one, weve been made aware very early from the comments of people like Johansson, Olsson, Roth, Blatter, Ingvarsson, Meier and co, all high-level officials of UEFA or football ruling bodies exactly what they think of Mourinho and Chelsea, even before considering Chelseas formal complaint. From their prior comments, the charge itself read like a verdict, even before any hearing. So, to see Mr Gaillard go into overdrive isnt surprising at all. He is merely being his masters voice. Chelsea is right to believe there can never be a fair trial at the UEFA Control and Disciplinary hearing.



(4) OUR EXPECTATIONS/CONCLUSION:

We want UEFA to realize that Messrs Mourinho, Clarke and Miles are only employees of Chelsea Football Club and that even though Mr Abramovich bought the club, the real owners of that club, as any football club anywhere, are the fans. A football club is a public trust and those who run it and who run the game are ultimately answerable to the fans. UEFA would be mistaken to believe that theyre shielded from the consequences of an unjust ruling by the provisions of Articles 59-63 of UEFA Statutes which oust the jurisdiction of the civil courts in football matters between UEFA and the clubs, officials and/or affiliate associations. The same Mr Gaillard is quoted to have warned that Chelsea would be in more trouble if they resort to the civil courts; but, of course, that is a measure of his own myopia.

UEFA are hereby put on notice that though as fans we love football, we will not be blackmailed into backing down where the facts are this clear-cut. UEFA are advised not to precipitate a whole slew of actions, consequences of which they may not have fully considered, be they for the organization and/or football in general. When UEFA take on Chelsea, you are not taking on Abramovich, Kenyon or Mourinho; you are taking on the fans and real friends of football everywhere. We love football, but we love justice more and the earlier UEFA deliver justice in this case, the better for everyone.

We are not opposed to you applying UEFA rules as they concern Chelseas late appearance for the second half and their non-appearance for the post-match press conference; but on the matter of Mourinho accusing Frisk and Rijkaard, there is only one cause of action open to you and that is to dismiss those ferocious, frivolous and ill-advised charges against Josй Mourinho, Steve Clarke and Les Miles immediately. From the findings in your own report, it is obvious that these gentlemen are calling on you to live up to your responsibility to clean up the game. Rijkaard and Frisk acted very inappropriately by the mere fact of the meetings and that is the message you should be passing down, even if privately to these persons. To punish Mourinho, Steve Clarke, Les Miles and Chelsea Football Club for bringing this to your attention will send the wrong message to friends of football everywhere.

We defer to UEFA as the administrators of the game, but to whom much is given, much is expected. You are not only required to do justice in absolute terms; you are required to ensure that everyone sees that justice is indeed done.

A word is enough for the wise.




CC:
(1) UEFA EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE:
Lennart Johansson (president) SWE
Senes Erzik (first vice-president) TUR
Per Ravn Omdal (second vice-president)
Angela Marнa Villar Llona (third vice-president)
Geoffrey Thomson (fourth vice-president) ENG
Dr Mathieu Sprengers (treasurer) HOL
Franco Carraro (member) ITA
Dr Viacheslav Koloskov (member) RUS
Marids N. Lefkaritis (member) CYP
Eggert Magnusson (member) ISL
Gerhard Mayer-Voifelder (member) GER
Dr Josef Mifsud (member) MLT
Michel Platini (member) FRA
Giangiorgio Spiess (member) SUI
Gilberto Parca Madaнl (co-opted member) POR
Grigory Surkis (co-opted member) UKR
Dr Michel DHooghe (European member of FIFA Executive Committee) BEL
David H. Will (FIFA vice-president) SCO
Lars-Christer Olsson (UEFA CEO) SWE

(3) CONTROL AND DISCIPLINARY COMMITTEE MEMBERS (2002-2006):
Jacques Antenen (vice-chairman) SUI
Jim Stjerne Hansen (vice-president) DEN
Dr Thomas Partl (vice-president) AU
Sandor Berzi (member) HUN
David I. Bowen (member) NIR
Dr Rainer Koch (member) GER
Maurizio Laudi (member) ITA
David Taylor (member) SCO
Joлl Wolff (member) LUX

(4) FIFA:
Sepp Blatter, FIFA (president)

(5) Ladies and Gentlemen of the press




APPENDIX I:


http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,8305-1537541_1,00.html


Uefa relishes role as judge and jury . . . so Mourinho can go hang


BY MARTIN SAMUEL



March 23, 2005

Uefa relishes role as judge and jury . . . so Mourinho can go hang

BY MARTIN SAMUEL



MY DAD always believed fight fire with fire, Harry Hill, the comedian, said, which is probably why he was thrown out of the fire brigade.

In certain instances, though, father Hill had a point. For Josй Mourinho and Chelsea, this is no time for half-measures. Faced with Uefas blanket refusal to indulge in anything resembling a fair, unprejudiced hearing, the club have no option but to arrive in Switzerland this month, guns blazing, with a legal brigade bigger than the first-team squad, ready for war. No apologies for starting todays column with a gag, either. You have to look to the world of comedy to find pre-trial statements as inappropriate as those issued by William Gaillard, the Uefa director of communications, on Monday.

Blackadder Goes Forth, episode two: Corporal Punishment. Blackadder is court-martialled for his life, accused of shooting and eating a messenger pigeon, Speckled Jim, owned and loved by his superior, General Melchett. At the trial, the identity of the presiding judge comes as a shock.

Melchett: Well, come on, then. Come on. Get this over in five minutes, then we can have a spot of lunch. The court is now in session, General Sir Anthony Hogmanay Melchett in the chair. The case before us is that of the Crown versus Captain Edmund Blackadder, [shouting] the Flanders Pigeon Murderer! Oh, hand me the black cap, Ill be needing that.

In what way is this different from Gaillards astonishing pronouncements at Uefas headquarters this week? Apart from the fact that one speech is fictitious and exaggerated for comic effect, none at all. First, incredibly, is the real one.

Gaillard: We are in the presence of false statements. There is a contradiction between what Mourinho says and what Chelsea say in their report. The truth is that none of the three [men charged] were in a position where they could have seen that taking place [the alleged meeting between Anders Frisk, the referee, and Frank Rijkaard, the Barcelona coach]. We are talking about incidents that brought the game into disrepute over a two-week period, a conspiracy to put pressure on match officials. It obviously poisons the atmosphere and can lead to violent acts by supporters. A totally unnecessary situation. Chelsea have been using lies as a pre-match tactic. They were trying to qualify for the next round by putting pressure on referees. They were ready to use disloyal methods. There is no place in football for this type of behaviour.

Melchett: Hes a scoundrel and a rotter and hes going to be shot. However, before we proceed to the formality of sentencing the deceased I mean the defendant I think wed all rather enjoy the case for the prosecution.

So would we, were it ever to be made public. Uefas quick-capsule justification, outlined by Gaillard a full ten days before the hearing and as good as labelled the truth, is not as watertight as it would have the world believe. For a start, having accused Chelsea of inconsistency, Uefa has compiled an official report awash with contradictory statements over what was said, by whom and to what intention.

One example: on Monday, Gaillard stated that Mourinho had confronted Frisk angrily at half-time, saying Can I also come into your dressing-room? linking this question to an attack on his integrity. Yet in the report, a witness is unsure whether the comment was aimed at Frisk or an assistant and cannot even be certain that Mourinho was venting allegations of collusion rather than just expressing irritation at the presence of an official in the Chelsea dressing-room, instructing his players to take the field.

There is frequent confusion over whether Rijkaard and Frisk spoke, with some witnesses saying that they did not, others insisting the official ordered the Barcelona coach to return to his dressing-room. As for the geography of the Nou Camp, which is being used to brand the noble Steve Clarke a liar, Uefa might be better served investigating why one of the two entrances to the home teams changing-room leads to the secure area where the referee resides and what Rijkaard was doing there at half-time. It might be impossible to see the entrance to the referees room from where Clarke stood, as Gaillard has suggested, but the Chelsea assistant manager would have had a clear view of its vicinity.

In the tunnel at the Nou Camp, one team turn left, the other right. If we are being generous, Rijkaard merely took the scenic route home and ended up the wrong side of a glass partition. If we are being mischievous, the coach of Barcelona, a goal down at half-time, got lost in his own stadium and pitched up where the referee should be.

Clearly, even to speculate that this journey was not entirely accidental would be a grave attack on the integrity of football, akin to finding it a little disconcerting that the head of the Uefa disciplinary committee, Josep Lluнs Vilaseca Guasch, is from Barcelona. Not that Uefa would confirm that yesterday. Having been fired by truth on Monday, yesterday it was the voice of vagueness that fielded questions about Guaschs home town.

Hes from Spain, it said. You would have to ask them.

Eventually, a nice chap at the Tribunal Espaсol de Arbitraje Deportivo (the Spanish Council of Sports Arbitration), where Guasch is president, confirmed: He is based mainly in Barcelona. Later, Guasch stood down from the Chelsea hearing, although by then the damage was done.

That is the problem with the truth, M Gaillard. Trumpet it once and we come to expect it. The latest speculation is that Guaschs allegiance to Barcelona stretches to being a socio, or member, of the club. Will he, or Uefa, clear up this matter in the name of truth? And if they will not, does this not undermine the integrity of Uefa more successfully than anything that Mourinho has attempted? Certainly, Guasch was present at the Nou Camp on the occasion of Chelseas visit. Was he an impartial observer, or a supporter? In the context of Chelseas day in court, this now matters.

The irony is that, having charged Mourinho for shooting from the lip, given the glimmer of an arc light, every grey suit at Uefa cannot resist grabbing his 15 minutes of fame, with disastrous results. Chelsea traditionally engage Jim Sturman, QC, on matters of sports law and unless Uefa intends establishing a Melchett-style kangaroo court in the case against Blackadder, the judge is called as the prosecutions first witness he should have a fine time addressing Uefas decision to mount the prosecution, hear the evidence and find the defendants guilty in absentia ten days before the hearing.

Expect Chelsea to issue a statement disputing the validity of Uefas justice as a result of this outburst within the next 48 hours. If the governing body believes that it can hide behind the sympathy felt towards Frisk, who retired after receiving death threats from Chelsea fans, and bypass the basic principle of a fair trial without prejudgment, it is mistaken. Whatever your view of Mourinhos behaviour in Spain, Uefa s handling of the case contravenes a basic tenet of democracy and its dismal showing on issues from racial abuse to drugs in sport affords it no reserve of goodwill.


Who, for instance, said this and of what? Uefa views this decision as a positive outcome, in line with our policy on such matters.

It was our old friend Gaillard again, responding to the pathetic fine of 420 imposed by the Spanish federation on Atlйtico Madrid for the racist chanting aimed at Roberto Carlos, the Real Madrid defender. Who left Reals match against Bayer Leverkusen in November without passing comment on the Nazi salutes and audible monkey chants directed at Roque Jъnior, the defender, allowing the home club to issue a self-serving statement that Uefa had observed no trouble at their ground? None other than Lennart Johansson, the Uefa president.

Uefas disciplinary department is a joke. Last season, Roy Keane, the Manchester United captain, was sent off for stamping on Vнtor Baнa, the FC Porto goalkeeper, in the first leg of a European Cup tie and Uefa appealed against its own statutory punishment (standard procedure, apparently) to have the ban extended. Then United were knocked out by Porto, at which point Uefa abandoned its appeal, allowing Keane to start afresh this season. Had United progressed, he would have been suspended; apparently his crime dissolved in defeat.

Using this logic, Chelsea and Mourinho were guilty of poisoning Uefas fragrant atmosphere only when they went through to the quarterfinals. Had they been good little boys and been knocked out by the club with the big ground, the famous manager, the clandestine passageway to the referees area and the head of Uefas disciplinary department on the guest list, their problems might have faded away. That is justice, Uefa-style.

Melchett: Anything to say before we kick off? Captain Darling? Darling (for the prosecution): May it please the court, as this is clearly an open-and-shut case, I move to bring a private prosecution against the defence counsel for wasting the courts time.

Melchett: Granted. Counsel is fined 50 for turning up. This is fun. This is just like a real court.

Much like the one Chelsea will face on March 31, apparently. Except this time with the jokes presiding, not in the script.




APPENDIX II:



Daily Express Thursday March 24 2005-03-29; pp 82-83

REPORT SAYS JOSE WAS RIGHT AFTER ALL

Rijkaard did speak to ref

EXCLUSIVE by Harry Harris and Mark Fleming

UEFA admit Barcelona coach met Friskbut not in the dressing room


UEFAs own report into the Nou Camp tunnel mystery admits that Barcelona coach Frank Rijkaard did speak to referee Anders Frisk not once, but twice!

Express Sport has been given exclusive access to UEFAs official version of events, and it reveals that Rijkaard did, as he claimed, greet Frisk in the tunnel during half-time of the sides now infamous Champions League clash.

But shockingly, UEFA also admit that a second conversation between the pair took place, just as Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has said all along. However, while UEFA confirms the gist of Mourinhos complaint, they dispute his geography.

Mourinho has been placed on a disrepute charge by UEFA for saying this additional chat took place in the referees dressing room.

The galling part for Mourinho is that UEFA do not deny this meeting happened; but they do insist it took place in a restricted area behind a glass petition in the Nou Camp tunnel where Chelsea did not have access.

Chelsea are understandably furious that UEFA have confirmed in part the truth of their story, but have at the same time charged the club with misconduct.

Chelsea have been accused of telling lies and creating a poisonous ambience before the teams met again for the second leg at Stamford Bridge two weeks ago, which the Premiership leaders won 4-2 to go through 5-4 on aggregate.

Chelsea are still deciding how to respond to UEFAs allegations, but are determined to stand by Mourinho, his right hand man Steve Clarke and security official Les Miles, who have been charged.

Chelsea are understandably furious to have been charged with bringing the game into disrepute for highlighting a meeting between Rijkaard and Frisk which UEFA do not deny took place.

They want to fight UEFA all the way, as they believe UEFAs own admission of Rijkaard and Frisks cosy chat at half-time had an enormous bearing on the tie, as a few minutes into the second half striker Didier Drogba was sent off for a reckless challenge on Barcelona keeper Victor Valdes. There has even been talk within Stamford Bridge of taking UEFA to the European Court of Arbitration in Sport. But challenging the European bodys authority through the courts is not a realistic option for the Premiership leaders as to do so would break Article 59 of the UEFA statute, which every club must sign before entering a UEFA competition. To take on UEFA will inevitably result in being booted out of the Champions League.

Consequently, there is a growing feeling at the club that the wisest course of action could be to just take their medicine and get on with it. A senior club source said: Our view is that the likelihood of us getting a fair hearing is pretty remote. We will be standing by our story, every party of it. But we might have no option but to accept the punishment UEFA give us. We dont want a war with UEFA.

Chelsea are due before UEFAs nine-man control and disciplinary committee next Thursday, where they would face unprecedented disrepute charges. If found guilty, Mourinho and Clarke face two-match touchline bans, which would prevent them from having any direct contact with their players from the moment the teams coach arrives at the ground for both legs of next months quarter-final against Bayern Munich. This is not something the Germans would welcome, however. Bayern Munich general manager Uli Hoeness said the Chelsea boss should be allowed in the dug-out for both legs.

Hoeness said: We hope Mourinho is in the dug-out for both games. We want to meet Chelsea at their best and that means with their coach on the bench. It would be a real shame if he could not guide his team from the dug-out.

Barcelona coach Rijkaard yesterday urged UEFA to throw the book at Mourinho for his antics last month. Rijkaard has consistently denied Mourinhos allegation that he entered the referees dressing room during half-time in the first in the first leg at Nou Camp.

Rijkaard said: What Mourinho did was very serious and it is right that he should be punished. What he said was a pack of lies, and it is not the first time. He damaged Frisk, myself and Barcelona. Frisk decided to give up refereeing because of the threats and the fear they produced.

He also undermined the image of Barcelona because there are some people out there who might have believed him and thought that Barcelona could have been trying to bribe a referee to influence a game.

Rijkaard, however, does not want Chelsea to be thrown out of the Champions League. You have to differentiate between Mourinho and the events on the pitch, he said. Their players fought hard out there and I wouldnt like Chelsea to be punished in that way.




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  • 23 November 2015977. Paul C
    I support this petition
  • 18 November 2015976. Rui C
    Mourinho ? й a melhor pessoa do Mundo.. merece estar no Banco a comandar as suas Tropas para vencerem o Bayern de Munique
  • 16 November 2015975. Joo L
    I support this petition
  • 08 November 2015974. Fernando G
    Go Mourinho! Show to people what we, Portuguese people, can do. I also agree with #1079

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Dionne RomeroBy:
Transport and infrastructureIn:
Petition target:
UEFA

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