It’s officially official. Jose Mourinho will not be present for Chelsea’s trip to Stoke City on Saturday (Watch live, 12:30 p.m. ET on NBC and online via Live Extra).
Mourinho, 52, was handed a $60,000 fine and given a one-game stadium ban after being sent off in Chelsea’s 2-1 defeat at West Ham United two weeks ago and in his prematch press conference on Friday he revealed he would not appeal against the ban.
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The Blues manager had already appealed against another charge of misconduct from the English FA in October when he was fined $75,000 and given a suspended one-game stadium ban for saying referees were “afraid” to give his team decisions. He lost that appeal which lead to his latest charge of misconduct resulting in a stadium ban.
Speaking to the media, Mourinho revealed he has simply chosen to “give up” the fight as he assistants will take the team.
“The match is tomorrow, I know the result of the appeal already, so I decide to give up,” Mourinho said. “I think it’s stupid to fight a fight you know you will already lose. This stadium ban is connected to words, to complaints. I can imagine that in the future we are going to have lots of managers with stadium bans, because the stadium bans should be related to something really serious. In this moment it’s open for in the future the stadium ban to happen much more times, unless we have our association or other associations around Europe that question in a very serious and legal way about the rights of the managers and having stadium bans.”
How will this all work on Saturday? Mourinho will ride on the bus with the team to Stoke but will not be able to enter the stadium per the rules of his ban. He is not able to communicate with the bench during the game either, but has apparently already made all of the decisions regarding substitutions for his assistants Steve Holland and Rui Faria.
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When asked if he will try and sneak in to the Britannia Stadium, something which he allegedly did in a laundry basket during a similar stadium ban during his first spell at Chelsea, Mourinho said he had no idea where he would watch the game.
“I have no plans. Maybe I sit in the street corner with my iPad. Maybe I don’t even watch the game,” Mourinho added.
So, if you’re in Stoke on Saturday and see a man in a smart overcoat standing on the street corner furiously searching for WiFi, invite him in to the warm. It will probably be Mr. Mourinho.