Football: Mourinho to contest FA misconduct charge

Football: Mourinho to contest FA misconduct charge
Chelsea's manager Jose Mourinho gestures during their Champions League soccer match against Galatasaray at Stamford Bridge in London

LONDON - Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho announced on Friday that he will contest the charge of improper conduct levelled by the Football Association following his side's defeat at Aston Villa last weekend.

The Portuguese was charged after entering the field of play during added time of a contentious game that ended with Mourinho's side reduced to nine men following the dismissals of Willian and Ramires.

Mourinho, who was fiercely critical of the performance of referee Chris Foy after the game, revealed that he will dispute the charge when he formally responds to the FA on Monday.

Speaking at his media briefing ahead of Chelsea's meeting with Arsenal at Stamford Bridge on Saturday, he said: "I don't accept the charges. I have to wait until Monday and work out what I will do.

"For you, it's enough to know that, for obvious reasons, I don't accept the charges." Members of both benches encroached onto the playing area at Villa Park immediately after Ramires's studs-up challenge on Villa midfielder Karim El Ahmadi, which earned him a red card.

Mourinho was sent to the stands when he again crossed the touchline to approach Foy after the referee had cleared the pitch.

The Portuguese was fined £8,000 (S$16,800) earlier this season after being dismissed at Cardiff City and can expect a fine of around £10,000 if he fails to overturn the latest charge.

Arsenal's trip to Stamford Bridge will mark Arsene Wenger's 1,000th game in charge of the Gunners.

Mourinho's relationship with the Arsenal manager has often been strained and was marked by a fractious exchange in February when the Chelsea manager described his opposite number as a "specialist in failure".

'Difficult' to emulate Wenger

Mourinho refused to discuss that exchange, but said that he admired Wenger's longevity.

Asked if he would like to pay tribute to the Frenchman, he said: "The tribute is to say that I believe that any one of us, we would love to have the same privilege with our clubs.

"I admire him and I admire Arsenal, because it's not possible to have 1,000 matches unless the club is also a fantastic club in the way they support the manager, especially in the bad moments, and especially when the bad moments were quite a lot. I admire the manager and the club." Mourinho also made it clear that he would like to emulate Wenger with an extended spell in charge of one club.

"I would like to do it, but it's very, very difficult," he said. "It was always difficult. In modern football, it's even more difficult.

"If I accumulate my first three and a bit years with Chelsea and this one, I have a few. Let's see if I can reach, not 1,000, but 500. It would be fantastic." Wenger has never managed to register a victory against a Mourinho team in 10 attempts, but the Chelsea manager does not think that record will have any bearing on Saturday's meeting.

"It doesn't matter," he said. "It's not against him. It's Chelsea against Arsenal. I didn't play Arsenal with Inter, Madrid or Porto; just Chelsea.

"It's Arsenal v Chelsea, not me against him. Records don't play any role: a match is a match. It's not coach against coach, it's team against team."

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