Mourinho risks Uefa's wrath with fresh outburst on 'biased' referee

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The Independent Football

Jose Mourinho last night raised the stakes before Chelsea's crucial Champions' League match, and put himself in danger of yet another Uefa charge, when he accused the referee Anders Frisk of favouring the Catalan club in the first leg by sending off Didier Drogba.

Jose Mourinho last night raised the stakes before Chelsea's crucial Champions' League match, and put himself in danger of yet another Uefa charge, when he accused the referee Anders Frisk of favouring the Catalan club in the first leg by sending off Didier Drogba.

Earlier in the day, Uefa had criticised Mourinho for failing to stay within the spirit of the competition by saying last week that he wanted the Italian referee Pierluigi Collina to take charge of the game. The official was eventually appointed to the match, but the European game's governing body said that Mourinho's comments had put them in an impossible position.

However, Mourinho dismissed the allegations he had requested Collina as "completely untrue" and even said that he would prefer that Frisk would take control of the match because "maybe he would help us the same way as he helped them". After their warning, Uefa are likely to take a very dim view of the Chelsea coach effectively accusing Frisk, who controversially sent off Drogba in the second half, of cheating.

Mourinho also launched an attack on Uefa for suggesting that he had tried to influence their decision over the appointment of the match referee. He said "I can say that I didn't ask for Collina to referee the game and it's a shame that an institution of the importance of Uefa have misrepresented what I said.

"Every manager and player would say Collina is the best in the world and that is because he the type of referee who doesn't have any influences from the outside."

Mourinho was furious after the first leg, claiming the Barce-lona coach, Frank Rijkaard, had spoken to Frisk in his private room during half-time when Chelsea were leading 1-0. The club sent an official complaint to Uefa on Thursday about the incident and left the Nou Camp after the game without speaking to media by way of protest.

Earlier a Uefa spokesman, William Gaillard, said: "We don't appreciate Jose Mourinho saying at the beginning of the week that we had assured Chelsea that Collina would be refereeing the game. It is not true.

"He was trying to put pressure on us. We had decided to appoint Collina even before we considered the incidents at the Nou Camp. This made it very difficult for us to do so. Some people were arguing that if we do so we are bowing to pressure from Mourinho. If we don't do so then again we are being influenced in appointing someone else when we wanted to appoint Collina.

"Frankly, we don't like coaches or anyone from a team telling us which referee we should appoint. This is not within the fair play spirit that we want in the game. He should stop picking out which referees he likes and those he doesn't like. We must all calm down now and make sure a different spirit benefits the game."

Mourinho also said Arjen Robben had failed a fitness test and would not play. Although the Dutch winger did not train with the team yesterday, Mourinho's notoriously inaccurate team news could mean that the player still has a chance. The England international Scott Parker is in the squad for the first time since breaking a metatarsal bone in his foot in mid-December.

Mourinho added: "We feel Didier Drogba should be on the pitch; he isn't and that will have an influence on both games. It influenced the first match because we played with 10 players and in the second match because we don't have him. But we have to accept that."

In Barcelona, Rijkaard finally could not resist responding to Mourinho's jibes but yesterday he would not breath life into the row that broke out in Barcelona. He said he would not discussfurther the "false" allegations that he spoke to referee Frisk in private at the Nou Camp.

Rijkaard said: "Everyone has the right to say what he wants and everyone has the right to act the way they prefer. He [Mourinho] has shown some form and he is happy - I'm not really one to complain."

Chelsea probable (4-1-4-1) : Cech; Ferreira, Carvalho, Terry, Gallas; Makelele; Cole, Tiago, Lampard, Duff; Gudjohnsen.

Barcelona probable (4-1-2-3): Valdes; Belletti, Puyol, Oleguer, Van Bronckhorst; Albertini; Deco, Xavi; Ronaldinho, Eto'o, Iniesta.

Referee: P Collina (Italy).

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