Mourinho refuses to go quietly as Real fight ban

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The Independent Online

Real Madrid say they will appeal against the five-match ban imposed by Uefa on coach Jose Mourinho for suggesting Barcelona were favoured by European football's governing body and its referees.

Uefa also yesterday banned for three games the Barcelona reserve goalkeeper Jose Pinto, who was sent off during the ill-tempered Champions League semi-final first leg against Real last week, so he will miss the final against Manchester United. Manager Pep Guardiola will have to put 21-year-old B-team keeper Oier Olazabal on the bench at Wembley. Barcelona have three days to decide whether to appeal over Pinto.

Mourinho has already sat out one match of his five, the second leg against Barcelona at the Nou Camp this week, and the fifth is a suspended sentence, but he will not be able to lead Real into their first three Champions League games next season.

Madrid are furious with what they see as a curb on the right to express feelings of injustice at the end of a game. But Uefa has decided to make an example of Mourinho (right).

"Every semi-final the same thing happens," said Mourinho after he had seen defender Pepe sent off in the 2-0 first-leg defeat to Barça. "They are a fantastic football team but why, three years ago, and why, last year, do they get to play against 10 players?"

Pepe's original one-match ban for the foul on Dani Alves that saw him sent off has not been extended and Real believe that indicates Uefa also believes the decision was harsh – a violent-conduct verdict would have hit him with a further two-game ban.

Mourinho will be on the bench tonight as his side visit Seville knowing anything less than a win could allow Barcelona to win the title tomorrow in the Catalan derby against Espanyol at the Nou Camp. There are eight points between the two sides with four games to go so a Real draw and a Barça victory would give Guardiola's side a third straight La Liga crown.

Barcelona captain Carles Puyol confirmed that Eric Abidal would be fit to start the Champions League final, if selected. Asked if he believed the Frenchman, who had a liver tumour removed in March, could play 90 minutes at Wembley, Puyol said: "Yes, he is very strong and he has three weeks to prepare, so I think he could."

In Italy, Milan will win their first Scudetto since 2004 if they beat Roma tonight.

The findings of an inquiry into alleged racial discrimination within the French Football Federation will be released on Monday. National coach Laurent Blanc (above) has been implicated, amid reports the Federation wanted quotas for African and Arab players in its youth teams.

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