Jose Mourinho has accused the Football Association of promoting anarchy in the Premier League after Yaya Touré avoided a three-match ban despite kicking Norwich City’s Ricky van Wolfswinkel off the ball.
Touré had appeared deliberately to kick out at Van Wolfswinkel during Manchester City’s goalless draw against Norwich and, with referee Jon Moss unsighted, it was referred to the new video panel for potential retrospective action.
Mourinho was in mischievous mood when he suggested that the verdict would encourage players to take the law into their own hands. The Chelsea coach has appeared much more like his old self in recent weeks. Perhaps because in Manchester City, their coach Manuel Pellegrini, and now Yaya Toure, he has finally identified a common enemy at whom he can direct his misplaced sense of grievance.
Asked shortly before the verdict how he would feel if Touré was not banned, Mourinho said: “I don’t understand why you say ‘if’? If he’s not suspended, the message is clear: the players can do what they want if the referee doesn’t see. The message is normally that, if the FA defends football, he’d have to be suspended.
“Of course I would be disappointed if he is not punished. If he is not, it has to be the same for everyone: if the referee doesn’t see, a player can do whatever he wants. It doesn’t matter about cameras or others seeing, I can do whatever I want. If they make the rule that action can be taken if a referee has missed something, they have to apply that rule.”
The Touré incident follows last week’s controversy over West Ham striker, Andy Carroll’s straight red card against Swansea, and his subsequent three-match ban. West Ham threatened to take their case to the High Court after an initial appeal was turned down but eventually agreed for an independent arbitration tribunal to decide.
The arbitration tribunal upheld the FA’s ban, meaning Carroll continues to serve his suspension while Touré has escaped punishment completely.
The panel of three former elite referees which usually comprises Steve Dunn, Alan Wiley and Eddie Wolstenholme, must be in unanimous agreement before issuing any charge and their focus is unseen incidents that may warrant a red card.
It means that they cannot retrospectively book a player if they conclude, as may have been the case with Touré, that an offence was committed but that it was not a sufficiently serious to merit a straight red card.
That they saw nothing untoward about the challenge made by Toure means it will only be a matter of time before the trio become known as the three wise monkeys – see, no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil.