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Last Updated: Friday, 18 March, 2005, 14:31 GMT
MP Banks is Mourinho's defender
West Ham MP
Tony Banks is standing down at the next election
Ex-sports minister Tony Banks has leapt to the defence of under-fire Chelsea football manager Jose Mourinho.

Mourinho harshly criticised Swedish referee Anders Frisk after Chelsea's Champions' League match at Barcelona.

Frisk said he would quit after he received death threats from Chelsea fans. Uefa's Volker Roth then labelled Mourinho "an enemy of football".

In a Commons motion, Mr Banks said Mr Roth should focus instead on racist remarks made by Spain's national coach.

Death threats

Spanish coach Luis Aragones was fined 2,000 for making insulting and racist remarks about Thierry Henry earlier in the season.

The Arsenal player said the fine was "laughable".

Mr Banks, a Chelsea supporter, has called on Uefa to impose tougher action, accusing the Spanish Football Association of imposing a "derisory fine".

Frisk announced he was quitting as a referee last weekend after he received numerous death threats from Chelsea fans.

However, Uefa accept that Mourinho had never intended to whip up anger against the Swedish referee, but suggested managers should be careful and refrain from making such statements.

Mourinho had accused Frisk of visiting Barca manager Frank Rijkaard in his dressing room at half-time.


SEE ALSO:
Aragones fine 'laughable' - Henry
04 Mar 05 |  Internationals
Tony Banks
16 Oct 02 |  Politics


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