Jose Mourinho refuses to confirm if he accused Phil Dowd of being 'too fat to referee' as subject of a 'campaign against Chelsea returns

Mourinho's no-show last weekend was due to the Chelsea manager not being able to moderate his words following his FA misconduct charge

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The Independent Football

Jose Mourinho has returned to the debate over whether referees are placed under undue pressure when taking charge of certain teams, as he waits to hear his fate from the Football Association over his allegations that there is a “campaign” against Chelsea.

Mourinho began his Friday press briefing by explaining that he did not attend last week because he was not in a position to moderate his words in the light of the FA charge for comments he made after the defeat to Southampton on 28 December. “I am in the conditions to control myself,” Mourinho said today. “One week ago I couldn’t control myself. To [avoid] putting myself in bigger problems we decided not to speak”.

Nevertheless, the Chelsea manager was still outspoken on what he saw was the key issue facing referees in the Premier League. He said: “To be fair I think the [English] referees’ standard is good and if … people did what I did to work in three other countries you would realise the refereeing standard is good. What maybe is not is the reactions and the influence that you can have on their stability to referee this team or that team. That is a completely different story. But I think the standard of refereeing is good.”


Asked what could be done to address that issue, Mourinho replied, “To be fair with everybody and look to everybody with the same eyes and don’t put pressure on the referees about their decisions. They [referees] must feel free, they must feel like the players. The players to express themselves they must feel free, happy, no pressure, best stability to play football. With them [referees] it has to be exactly the same thing. They have to enjoy the matches and doesn’t matter which match and doesn’t matter which opponent. It is also important for them.”

Earlier in his press conference, Mourinho had been asked whether he had more chance of getting off his FA charge than he did winning the manager of the month title that eludes him so often. He said he had no chance of winning either.

He said: “I don’t have to repeat what I said already. We are not against the referees. We understand the job is not an easy one. I’m happy to admit my mistakes. So when I spoke with Kevin Friend [after the Watford game] and realised it was my mistake and not his mistake, I was more than happy to apologise. There are no problems. The reality is that every decision is going against us and results have been affected by that. [It is] far from us, very far from us, to put any doubt about the honesty of the people.”

Mourinho was asked whether he had accused Phil Dowd of being “too fat to referee” after the defeat to Tottenham. “I go to the referee’s dressing room before the game and after the game. When I go before, I go with both captains and the other manager or the assistant. It depends on what they do. What we speak there is between us and stays there.

Mourinho believes there is a campaign against Chelsea this season

“After the match we can go 30 minutes after, sometimes we go and the words are the normal ones: ‘Well done, good luck for the next one and so on’. Other times we discuss, like men and like normal people, what happened in the game. When I go in that perspective, I have a big advantage, which is that I have seen already on TV which the referees they didn’t.

“Many times when I go, I know what I am saying and they are surprised. After Southampton, I told [referee] Anthony Taylor after the match he had made a big mistake and I had seen it on TV. He was sad, he was sad, he was sad. He believed me. He told me ‘Jose I didn’t see it on TV … so you are right’. Yes, I am right. ‘I made a mistake’. Yes, you made a big mistake. And with Phil was exactly the same thing. He made a big mistake and he was not happy about this mistake. But when I go, I go in a privileged position because I have watched on TV and they can’t do that during the game.”

Cesc Fabregas was wrongly booked for diving against Southampton

Mourinho said that goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois was back in contention to play against Swansea City tomorrow having missed the game against Newcastle with a finger injury that had left him just “85 per cent fit to play”.