Mourinho vows to fight five-match UEFA ban

REAL MADRID coach Jose Mourinho will “defend himself to the end” after being handed a five-match ban by UEFA.

Mourinho was yesterday punished by European football’s governing body for his actions during and after the fiery Champions League semi-final first leg against Barcelona at the Bernabeu last week.

The former Chelsea boss has already served a one-match ban, at this week’s return leg at the Camp Nou, while another is suspended, meaning he will sit out Madrid’s first three European games next season.

Madrid, who also received further punishments from UEFA for other incidents during the game, have already announced they will appeal the ruling.

The club said in a statement: “Real Madrid considers this resolution still suffers from the same defects found at the start of the disciplinary case, which made it impossible for our coach to use his right to defend himself, since the exact statements for which the disciplinary case was opened are still unknown.”

Mourinho did not appear before the media yesterday on the eve of Madrid’s Primera Division clash with Sevilla, with his assistant Aitor Karanka taking his place.

Karanka also undertook media duties before and after this week’s semi-final second leg with Barca, where a 1-1 draw saw Madrid tumble out of Europe 3-1 on aggregate

Asked about Mourinho’s reaction to his ban, Karanka said: “The club have already announced they are going to appeal and, on a personal level, Mourinho is going to defend himself and he will fight to the end.”

Mourinho, who was sent off in the first leg for his reaction to Pepe’s second-half red card, caused a huge controversy with his comments in both press conferences before and after the match.

Prior to the game he hit out at opposite number Pep Guardiola and then following his side’s defeat he insinuated Barca receive favourable treatment from UEFA and claimed the Catalan club had yet to win a “clean” Champions League title under their current boss.

He said at the time: “Guardiola is a fantastic coach, but he has won one Champions League which I would be ashamed to win after the scandal at Stamford Bridge and this year, if he wins it again, it will be after the scandal at the Bernabeu.”

Karanka suggested Mourinho may not hold another press conference until he receives clarification about his punishment.

Mourinho was also fined €50,000, while midfielder Pepe has been given a one-game ban, which he served in the second leg, for his dismissal. Madrid were also fined €20,000 for the behaviour of their fans,

Barcelona reserve keeper Jose Pinto, who was red-carded after a scuffle at half time at the Bernabeu, was given a three-game ban by UEFA.

Like Madrid, Barcelona have announced they will appeal against that punishment, which would rule Pinto out of the Champions League final against Manchester United.

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