Connect to share and comment

Football: Toure escapes FA charge despite Mourinho plea

PlacardEnlarge
(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Jose Mourinho's plea for Yaya Toure to be suspended fell on deaf ears as the Football association announced Monday that no disciplinary action would be taken against the Manchester City midfielder.

Toure appeared to kick out at Ricky van Wolfswinkel during his side's scoreless draw away to Norwich City last weekend that allowed Chelsea to move above Manuel Pellegrini's men at the top of the Premier League table.

Ivory Coast international Toure escaped punishment during the game because referee Jon Moss did not see the incident.

But under a new system being trialled in the Premier League this season, if an incident has not been seen by the match officials, a three-man panel of former elite referees will be asked by the FA to review it and advise what, if any, action they believe should have taken had it been witnessed at the time.

That could have seen Toure on course to receive a three-match ban at a crucial stage of the title race but, as the panel failed to agree, he escaped punishment.

"For an FA charge to follow, all three panel members must agree it is a sending-off offence," the FA said.

"In this instance, the panel were not of the unanimous decision that it was an act of violent conduct."

The FA's move will anger Chelsea manager Mourinho, who, only shortly before the decision was announced and in the midst of a wide-ranging attack on City, said officials had to act against Toure or risk an on-field free-for-all.

"If he (Toure) is not suspended, the message is clear: the players can do what they want if the referee doesn't see," Mourinho, speaking at Chelsea's Cobham training ground, said Monday.

"It doesn't matter about cameras or others seeing. I can do whatever I want."

His comments will only fuel his growing rivalry with City manager Manuel Pellegrini, which started when they both worked in Spain.

Monday saw Mourinho try to contrast Chelsea's recent transfer spending with that of City's 'short-term' approach by pointing out the Blues' outgoing players in January -- Juan Mata and Kevin De Bruyne - had created a surplus, even though Nemanja Matic and Mohamed Salah had arrived at Stamford Bridge.

Doubts have been raised as to whether both Chelsea, bankrolled by Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich, and City, whose lavish spending has been financed by oil-rich Abu Dhabi-based owner Sheikh Mansour, can comply with European football governing body UEFA's financial fair play rules.

But Mourinho said: "I don't have to repeat myself a lot, but everybody knows what Manchester City are.

"Pellegrini was talking about the money we've spent. I think he's a fantastic coach, and I respect that a lot, and on top of that, outside his football career, he's an engineer by academic formation.

"I don't think an engineer needs a calculator to do Mata (sold for) £37 million ($61m, 44.5m euros) and De Bruyne (sold for) £18m, so that's £55m. Matic is £21m and Salah is £11m. That's £32m.

"Fifty-five minus thirty-two is 23. So Chelsea, in this transfer window, generated £23m.

"It's easy to understand that this is working with financial fair play. Others aren't doing the same.

"We are building a team for the next decade, if possible. They (City) have a team to win now because they don't have a team for 10 years."

Mourinho added: "The only thing that is funny that he (Pellegrini) keeps saying he never responds to Mourinho, he never comments about Mourinho. He said that in Spain, too. So, he's changed."

str/jdg/as

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/140210/football-toure-escapes-fa-charge-despite-mourinho-plea