Chelsea vs Newcastle: Jose Mourinho pulls out of media press conference after FA charge Blues manager over 'clear campaign' comments

Mourinho claimed 'people, pundits, commentators and coaches from other teams' were creating a campaign against his side

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The Independent Football

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho will not face the press on Friday after being charged with misconduct by the Football Association.

Mourinho was due to face the media to preview the home Barclays Premier League clash with Newcastle but the Blues announced that assistant Steve Holland would take his place shortly after the Portuguese was charged for comments made about match officials following last month's clash with Southampton.

Mourinho claimed there was a "clear campaign" against the club following the 1-1 draw, alleging the campaign was being orchestrated by "people, pundits, commentators and coaches from other teams" and branding the booking of Cesc Fabregas for diving at St Mary's on December 28 a "scandal".

"It is alleged his remarks constitute improper conduct in that they allege and/or imply bias on the part of a referee or referees and/or bring the game into disrepute," a statement issued by the FA read.

 

Mourinho, who does not view officials as part of the campaign but fears they may have been influenced by it, has until 6pm on January 13 to respond to the charge.

Chelsea had been at the centre of a debate over diving when Mourinho made the comments.

Diego Costa and Willian were booked for simulation against Hull on December 13, prompting Steve Bruce to compare a Gary Cahill dive as "like something out of Swan Lake".

The London club faced renewed scrutiny on Boxing Day when Branislav Ivanovic appeared to take a tumble against West Ham, the type of incident Mourinho believes is being unjustly scrutinised to Chelsea's detriment.

Fabregas looked to have won a penalty early in the second half against Southampton after being caught by Matt Targett, but referee Anthony Taylor instead deemed it a dive and booked the furious Spanish midfielder.

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Fabregas was wrongly booked for diving against Southampton on Sunday

Asked if recent incidents involving Cahill and Ivanovic had been influential, Mourinho said: "Of course. That's a campaign, that's a clear campaign.

"People, pundits, commentators, coaches from other teams - they react with Chelsea in a way they don't react to other teams.

"They put lots of pressure on the referee and the referee makes a mistake like this. We lose two points, Fabregas earns a yellow card."

The FA also issued a formal warning over comments made by Mourinho on December 19, three days before the victory at Stoke, in which he spoke about the need for a "good, experienced referee". Neil Swarbrick oversaw the match

"Having sought Mourinho's observations on this matter, the FA has decided not to bring a disciplinary charge and has instead issued a formal warning," the FA statement read.

"The FA prohibit participants from making any pre-match media comments including comments of a positive nature concerning the appointed match officials for a particular fixture.

"Whether the official is identifiable by name or by implication, these are deemed to amount to improper conduct in breach of FA Rule E3."

PA

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