If ever there was a corridor of uncertainty, it is the one which links the dressing-rooms at the Nou Camp.
If ever there was a corridor of uncertainty, it is the one which links the dressing-rooms at the Nou Camp. The "who-said-what-to-whom?" saga which has followed Chelsea's Champions' League visit to Barcelona rumbles on with one leak suggesting Uefa, European football's governing body, ignored Anders Frisk's match report, and another indicating that it would not alter matters if they had included the referee's observations.
It is claimed the 25-page report into the affair, commissioned by Uefa's Control and Disciplinary Committee, and produced by the investigator Edgar Obertuefer, did not contain any references to Frisk's report. The Swedish referee is understood to have been approached three times by Frank Rijkaard before finally telling the Barcelona coach to return to his dressing-room.
While this appears to vindicate Chelsea's claim that Rijkaard had spoken to Frisk, there appears to be no evidence that Rijkaard actually went into the referee's room, as Chelsea alleged.
A separate leak says Rijkaard, after making an initial greeting of: "Hello, welcome to Barcelona", which everyone agrees took place, added: "There is only one team playing football out there." Frisk responded: "No. No more - not now," and sent Rijkaard away.
Jose Mourinho, the Chelsea manager, was fined £9,000 and banned from the touchline for the quarter-final with Bayern Munich after claiming that Rijkaard had entered Frisk's room and that he was "not surprised" when Didier Drogba was subsequently dismissed.
That Uefa did not even consider Frisk's report does tend to support the club's belief that the governing body were intent on punishing Mourinho. However, the referee's report does not vindicate the Chelsea manager, even if it makes his suspicions more understandable.
Chelsea have said they will not be appealing against Mourinho's punishment. Neither Rijkaard nor Mourinho attended club press conferences yesterday.Reuse content