Jose Mourinho risks a two-game touchline ban that would force him to sit out Manchester United’s Premier League clash with Arsenal later this month if he chooses to contest a Football Association charge for verbally abusing referee Mark Clattenburg.
The United manager, who is expected to receive a fine later this week when a disciplinary panel reviews an unrelated improper conduct charge for media comments about referee Anthony Taylor, was charged with misconduct by the FA on Tuesday afternoon as a result of his actions during Saturday’s goalless draw against Burnley at Old Trafford.
In a statement, the FA said: “Jose Mourinho has been charged with misconduct following Manchester United’s game against Burnley on Saturday [29 October 2016].
“It is alleged that in or around the tunnel area at half time he used abusive and/or insulting words towards a Match Official.
“He has until 6pm on 4 November 2016 to respond to the charge.”
If Mourinho accepts the misconduct charge, he will trigger an automatic one-match touchline ban – not the more stringent stadium ban which prevents the manager from entering the stadium on a match-day – which would force him to spend Sunday’s Premier League encounter with Swansea City in the directors’ box at the Liberty Stadium.
However, if Mourinho and United decide the fight the charge, a regulatory panel would not be able to consider the case until after the Swansea game.
Mourinho would then be free to sit in the dug-out at Swansea, but with Arsenal due at Old Trafford following the international break on November 19, the former Chelsea manager would be at risk of being banished to the stands for the fixture with Arsene Wenger’s title-chasers.
With the FA offering Mourinho a set penalty of a one-match ban if he accepts the charge, the Portuguese would then be exposed to the prospect of a second match in the stands if the regulatory panel reject his and United’s arguments against the charge.
Should that prove the case, Mourinho would then have to watch the Premier League game against West Ham United from the Old Trafford stands on November 27.
United, meanwhile, failed to disclose the manager's response to the charge for improper conduct against Taylor, despite submitting it ahead of the 6pm deadline Monday.
At United's request, the FA also refused to reveal Mourinho's response.
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