UEFA have expressed their annoyance with Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho, following his call for Pierluigi Collina to referee their Champions League game against Barcelona on Tuesday.
Collina’s appointment for the first knockout round second leg at Stamford Bridge was announced by UEFA on Sunday. But William Gaillard, UEFA’s director of communications, said that Mpurinho’s call for the respected Italian referee was unsporting.
“Something tells me the referee in London will be Collina,” Mourinho told a Portuguese newspaper, describing the Italian official as “perfect” for the match.
However, speaking to SkySports news, Gaillard admitted that Mpourinho’s remarks had not been well received.
“We didn’t really appreciate Jose Mourinho saying we had assured Chelsea that Collina would be refereeing the game,” Gaillard said. “It is not true at all.
“He was trying there to put some undue pressure on us.
“We had decided to appoint Pierluigi Collina even before we considered the incidents but it made it very difficult for us to do so,” Gaillard said.
“People were arguing that if we did, it sounded like we’re bowing to pressure from Mourinho and that if we didn’t, then again we’re 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. It is not pleasant and it is not his job.”
Gaillard also revealed that UEFA were still waiting to hear back from Chelsea after the ruling body began disciplinary proceedings against the club last week.
“We’re still waiting for Chelsea to explain why they didn’t come to the press conference at the end of the game and why they were late at halftime (for the second half),” Gaillard said.
“These are minor, administrative violations of the competition’s rules, but still we would like to clear that up…and we hope the second leg is played in a better atmosphere altogether. No-one is exempt from the rules.”
Chelsea have until March 14 to make their response.