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Jose Mourinho banned and fined over 'handcuffs' gesture

Inter Milan boss Jose Mourinho
Mourinho has not endeared himself to Italian officials

Inter Milan boss Jose Mourinho has received a three-game touchline ban and been fined 40,000 euros (£35,000) after strongly criticising officials.

Mourinho made a "handcuffs" gesture after seeing Inter's Walter Samuel and Ivan Cordoba sent off and Samuel Eto'o booked against Sampdoria.

The gesture has been interpreted as a way of suggesting his side have been victimised by referees in Serie A.

Mourinho had also insulted the officials at half-time in the 0-0 draw.

Samuel and Cordoba were both dismissed in the first half of the match, while Eto'o was booked for allegedly diving.

When Eto'o received the yellow card, Mourinho burst out laughing and made the "handcuffs" gesture in front of photographers and TV cameras.

Mourinho - who has had two one-game bans already this season after being sent off - did not speak to the media after the match against Sampdoria.

Serie A officials said the punishment came after Mourinho had "repeatedly challenged the officials, especially by mimicking handcuffs with his wrists and arms crossed, and faced the crowds and television cameras... Also, he insulted the referee and his assistants in the tunnel and also repeatedly insulted officials."

Each time there are over-the-top gestures or comments it creates exasperation

Italian Football Association president Giancarlo Abete

Reports in Italy suggested referees were prepared to go on strike if Mourinho was not given a severe punishment.

"Each time there are over-the-top gestures or comments it creates exasperation," Italian Football Association president Giancarlo Abete told Italian newspaper La Gazzetta dello Sport's website.

"This is a delicate phase of the season, we need respect for everyone else because over-excited football is no good."

Defenders Samuel and Cordoba received one-game bans for their dismissals but their Inter team-mates Esteban Cambiasso and Sulley Muntari were given two-match bans for off-the-field incidents in the fiery encounter.

Cambiasso was punished for trying to punch an opposition player in the tunnel at half-time, while Muntari swore at the fourth official.

Mourinho, who will face former club Chelsea in the Champions League on Tuesday, will be consigned to the stands for the Serie A matches against Udinese, Genoa and Catania.

Inter are five points clear of Roma at the top of the league.

Mourinho has had numerous previous brushes with officials, notably after Chelsea's 2-1 Champions League defeat by Barcelona in 2005 when he accused referees Anders Frisk of talking to Barca coach Frank Rijkaard in his dressing-room at half-time.

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see also
Mourinho reaches Inter crossroads
22 Feb 10 |  Europe
Mourinho unmoved by Chelsea draw
19 Dec 09 |  Chelsea
Nine-man Inter take derby spoils
24 Jan 10 |  Europe
Mourinho rules out instant return
31 Dec 09 |  Europe
Mourinho accused as Frisk quits
14 Mar 05 |  Chelsea

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