Jose Mourinho was last night facing the possibility of a lengthy Champions League ban following his comments in the immediate aftermath of Wednesday's "Battle of the Bernabeu".
Uefa yesterday charged both Barcelona and Real Madrid for the behaviour of their players during and after the first-leg of their semi-final in Madrid. Among the charges for Real was one for Mourinho's "inappropriate statement" and it is his comments that are most likely to bring about severe disciplinary action.
Barcelona last night accused the Real manager of “overstepping the limits of acceptable comment” with remarks that “could incite violence” as they filed an official complaint over Mourinho. In response, as relations between the clubs soured further, Real posted a two-minute video on their website which they claimed showed Pepe made no contact with Dani Alves in the challenge for which the Real player received a red card. The video cuts together a series of incidents that portrays Barcelona’s players in a poor light, committing a series of fouls, diving and surrounding the referee.
In all, Uefa will investigate the tunnel bust-up at half-time that ended with Barcelona's reserve goalkeeper Jose Pinto being sent off; Pepe's red card; Mourinho's sending-off for disputing it; and the throwing of missiles and the encroachment on the playing surface by several spectators at the final whistle.
This is not the first time Mourinho has been in trouble with Uefa. He was banned for two games in 2007 for bringing the game into disrepute and making false allegations. The then Chelsea manager had said after Barcelona's 2-1 defeat of his team that he saw Barça coach Frank Rijkaard enter the referee Anders Frisk's dressing room at half-time. Frisk retired shortly after the incident.
This time there will be no charge of making false allegations when Uefa's disciplinary panel sits on 6 May but if it feels Mourinho has called into question the integrity of the competition then the disrepute charge could be heftier.
Barcelona were last night doing everything they could to increase the pressure on Uefa by issuing a statement condemning Mourinho's post-match comments. A spokesman for the Barcelona board, Antoni Freixa, said: "Barcelona is filing an official complaint against Mourinho to Uefa's disciplinary committee for questioning the history, titles and links with Unicef of the club."
He said that Mourinho had "over-stepped the limits of acceptable comment" with remarks that "could incite violence". Freixa added: "It is completely impossible that a coach of Barcelona would act in this way. We will now wait to see what sanctions Uefa decide."
In his post-match outburst on Wednesday night, Mourinho said: "I don't know if it is to give publicity to Unicef or if it's the friendship of Villar [Angel Maria Villar, head of the Spanish football association] at Uefa or if it's because they are very nice, but why does it always happen? It seems they have to finish in the final.
"Guardiola is a fantastic coach, but he's 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. I hope that one day he will win a clean Champions League," he added.
The club itself could also be in trouble for failing to keep supporters off the pitch at the end of the game and for the missiles that meant referee Wolfgang Stark had to be given a riot-police escort from the pitch. There could also be action taken against former player and current matchday delegate Miguel Chendo, who grabbed Pinto around the neck in the brawl in front of the tunnel at half-time. Mourinho will miss Tuesday's return leg as will defenders Pepe and Sergio Ramos and Barcelona keeper Pinto.
Mourinho's chances of leniency are slim in view of his troubled past with European football's governing body. Uefa called him an "enemy of football" after his comments about Frisk in 2007 led to the referee's retirement from the game.
Uefa communications director William Gaillard said at the time: "We can't accept that one of our best referees has been forced to quit because of this. People like Mourinho are the enemy of football."
Frisk quit after officiating for 16 years despite Uefa's attempts to make him change his mind.
Wednesday night's ill-tempered affair attracted a peak audience of 7.8m on ITV1, a remarkable figure for a club game involving two non-English sides.Reuse content