Mourinho may face FA charge over attack on referee

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The Independent Online

Jose Mourinho and Chris Coleman could face Football Association sanctions this week over comments which appeared to question the integrity of referees.

Jose Mourinho and Chris Coleman could face Football Association sanctions this week over comments which appeared to question the integrity of referees.

The Fulham manager, Coleman, branded referee Mark Halsey "crap" after he reversed a penalty decision at Craven Cottage after protests from Arsenal players. Mourinho suggested Ruud van Nistelrooy or Thierry Henry would have been awarded the penalty which was denied Didier Drogba late in Chelsea's goalless draw at Aston Villa.

The FA's compliance unit will look closely at whether the comments made by either manager cross the boundary between acceptable criticism and questioning an official's integrity. An FA spokesman said yesterday: "We will be giving due consideration to the comments made by both managers."

Coleman's anger will be compounded by Halsey's admission that he changed his decision after protests from Arsenal players. Halsey also denied Arsenal a strong spot-kick claim and disallowed a goal by the Fulham striker John Collins. Coleman said: "Arsenal are on one hell of a run and it takes a brave man to make a decision that ends that run. I'll probably get into trouble for saying that but I couldn't give a monkey's to be honest."

Halsey is unlikely to face punishment as he broke no rules in changing his mind. Asked if he expected any action to be taken against him, Halsey said: "No, because I've corrected a decision before a penalty is taken. Players make mistakes all the way through the game and give the ball away with bad passes. I'm human and it was a difficult game."

Mourinho questioned Rob Styles' decision not to award a penalty after Drogba fell under the challenge of Ulises de la Cruz. Mourinho said: "The man of the match was the referee because of that decision. If a similar situation happens in the future to Thierry Henry or Ruud van Nistelrooy we will see if a similar decision is given. I do not believe it will be."

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