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Last Updated: Monday, 28 February, 2005, 08:08 GMT
Mourinho may face inquiry by FA
The Football Association may launch a disciplinary inquiry after Jose Mourinho was sent off during Chelsea's Carling Cup final win over Liverpool.

The Chelsea boss was sent from the touchline by the fourth official for appearing to taunt Liverpool fans after Chelsea equalised - before winning 3-2.

Referee Steve Bennett has confirmed he will include the incident involving Mourinho in his official match report.

Mourinho said his gesture was aimed at the English media, not Liverpool fans.

He already faces a charge of improper conduct following comments he made after Chelsea's Carling Cup semi-final, first leg encounter against Manchester United.

Mourinho has expanded on the circumstances of his dismissal in Sunday's final at the Millennium Stadium.

And he expressed his regret at any possible misjudgement over his gesture of putting his fingers to his lips in front of thousands of frustrated Liverpool fans.

"The police told the fourth official `Mr Mourinho must go' - and if I made a mistake I apologise," he said.

"I have a lot of respect for fans of every team in the country, in the world and try to show that."

He added: "This is a special situation for me but if I made a mistake and did something that I cannot do in English football, then I have to adapt and understand where I am.

"I have a lot of respect for Liverpool fans. What I did, the sign of silence - `shut your mouth' - was not for them. It was for the English press."

The Football League confirmed that, contrary to Mourinho's own post-match assertion, there had been no direct police involvement in his removal from the touchline.

A spokesman declared: "The decision to ask Jose Mourinho to leave the technical area came from the match officials and was initiated by the fourth official, Phil Crossley.

"The match referee, Steve Bennett, was aware of what was happening on the touchline and was content that it was being dealt with correctly."

The League Managers' Association vice-chairman Frank Clark, however, backed Mourinho.

He said: "Was that gesticulation? All I saw was Jose put his fingers to his lips, I thought it was fairly innocuous.

"Obviously someone in a position of authority thought differently but it didn't seem very provocative to me, I have to say.

"We regularly talk to our members about their responsibility for behaviour in the technical area and we accept they must act in a sensible fashion within that area.

"We are all conscious of crowd safety at football matches but this was mild."

Mourinho could not disguise his anger at the criticism he and his team had received after losing to Newcastle United in the FA Cup and Barcelona in the Champions League.

He was also criticised for refusing to speak to the media after the defeat in the Nou Camp but was in outspoken mood after claiming his first trophy in English football.

Mourinho said: "It is not about me, it is about us. And you cannot put pressure on my group - no chance.

"There is another thing you forgot. We have not lost our rearranged game against West Brom. If we beat them, the gap would be nine points again in the Premiership."





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