Everton to sue unless Mourinho apologises

Everton have resolved to pursue Jose Mourinho with the same tenacity that has enabled Chelsea to reel in Manchester United and will take legal action against the Portuguese manager unless he retracts allegations that Andrew Johnson dived during the champions' stunning late victory at Goodison Park on Sunday.

The club released a statement yesterday in conjunction with the England striker's agent, Anthony McFarlane, which urged Mourinho to apologise for accusing Johnson of cheating and for the football authorities to study those comments with a view to disciplinary action. A formal complaint is to be lodged with the Football Association today. The depth of Everton's anger is such, however, that unless a public retraction is forthcoming they are prepared to sue for defamation.

Mourinho erupted furiously when the £8.6m forward leapt over Chelsea goalkeeper Henrique Hilario in the 16th minute at Goodison Park having been pushed in the back by Khalid Boulahrouz. Though he chose his words carefully in a post-match press conference with the written media - insisting Johnson "is a dangerous opponent because you cannot trust him" and "in my country he would be called an intelligent player" - Mourinho told television the 25-year-old had dived and Everton, having sought legal advice ahead of the statement's release, believe there is sufficient evidence to pursue their grievance.

Everton are determined to act on the grounds that Mourinho's allegation could damage the value of their asset, that he was offensive and may effect the player's mental state. There is little doubt that Johnson's form has suffered since the inquest into his balance began and it is now 11 games since the former Crystal Palace striker scored.

"It's probably the reason Andy isn't getting penalties now," Phil Neville said yesterday. "He was pushed over against Chelsea, he was pushed over at Fulham, at Blackburn, against Arsenal here in the Carling Cup. Maybe he [Mourinho] should have a look at the incident on video, then have a look at himself in the mirror."

Everton have also been prompted to act by what they perceive as the hypocrisy in Mourinho's condemnation of Johnson. Only nine weeks ago, Mourinho vented his spleen at Steve Hunt of Reading for not pulling out of a challenge with Petr Cech, a collision that left his first-choice 'keeper with a fractured skull, yet wanted Johnson booked for taking evasive action against Hilario.

"In my eyes the referee gave what he saw," said Moyes, who shared Mark Halsey's opinion that it was not a penalty. "It shows that even such a good coach as Jose Mourinho gets it wrong and doesn't choose the right words at the right moment."

VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition iPad app?
Sport
Karim Benzema celebrates scoring the opening goal
sportReal Madrid 1 Bayern Munich 0: Germans will need their legendary self-belief to rescue Champions League tie in second leg
News
Rohff is one of France’s most popular rappers
people
Sport
Manchester United manager David Moyes has claimed supporters understand the need to look at
sportScot thanks club staff and fans, but gives no specific mention of players
News
Strange 'quack' noises could be undersea chatter of Minke whales
science
News
weird news... and film it, obviously
Arts & Entertainment
tv
News
news
News
peopleThis time as he’s awarded the Freedom of Stirling and handed an honorary degree
Voices
voices Furore is yet another example of shameful Westminster evasion, says Nigel Farage
Voices
voicesMoyes' tragedy is one the Deputy PM understands all too well, says Matthew Norman
Arts & Entertainment
Rocker of ages: Chuck Berry
musicWhy do musicians play into old age?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition iPad app?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Migrants in Britain a decade on: The Poles who brought prosperity

Migrants in Britain a decade on

The Poles who brought prosperity
Philippe Legrain: 'The eurozone crisis has tipped many into disillusionment, despair and extremism - we need a European Spring'

Philippe Legrain: 'We need a European Spring'

The eurozone crisis has tipped many into disillusionment, despair and extremism - this radically altered landscape calls for a new kind of politics, argues the economist
A History of the First World War in 100 moments: A moment of glory on the Western Front for the soldiers of the Raj

A History of the First World War in 100 moments

A moment of glory on the Western Front for the soldiers of the Raj
Brits who migrate to Costa del Sol more unhappy than those who stay at home

It's not always fun in the sun: Moving abroad does not guarantee happiness

Brits who migrate to Costa del Sol more unhappy than those who stay at home
Migrants in Britain a decade on: They came, they worked, they stayed in Lincolnshire

Migrants in Britain a decade on

They came, they worked, they stayed in Lincolnshire
Chris Addison on swapping politics for pillow talk

Chris Addison on swapping politics for pillow talk

The 'Thick of It' favourite thinks the romcom is an 'awful genre'. So why is he happy with a starring role in Sky Living's new Lake District-set series 'Trying Again'?
Why musicians play into their old age

Why musicians play into their old age

Nick Hasted looks at how they are driven by a burning desire to keep on entertaining fans despite risking ridicule
How can you tell a gentleman?

How can you tell a gentleman?

A list of public figures with gallant attributes by Country Life magazine throws a fascinating light on what it means to be a gentleman in the modern world
Pet a porter: posh pet pampering

Pet a porter: posh pet pampering

The duo behind Asos and Achica have launched a new venture offering haute couture to help make furry companions fashionable
A History of the First World War in 100 moments: The mutiny that sent a ripple of fear through the Empire

A History of the First World War in 100 moments

The mutiny that sent a ripple of fear through the Empire
Hot stuff: 10 best kettles

Hot stuff: 10 best kettles

Celebrate St George’s Day with a nice cup of tea. Now you just need to get the water boiled
Sam Wallace: Why Giggs is perfect fit as Manchester United boss... in the longer term

Sam Wallace

Why Ryan Giggs is perfect fit as Manchester United boss... in the longer term
Renaud Lavillenie: The sky's the limit for this pole vaulter's ambitions

Renaud Lavillenie: The sky's the limit for this pole vaulter's ambitions

Having smashed Sergei Bubka's 21-year-old record, the French phenomenon tells Simon Turnbull he can go higher
Through the screen: British Pathé opens its archives

Through the screen

British Pathé opens its archives
The man behind the papier mâché mask

Frank Sidebottom

The man behind the papier mâché mask