Jose Mourinho has been charged by the FA over comments made about referee Anthony Taylor ahead of Manchester United’s clash with Liverpool.
The Altrincham-based official’s appointment for the October 17 derby raised eyebrows in some quarters and Keith Hackett, the former head of the Professional Game Match Officials Limited body, claimed the appointment would place undue pressure on the referee.
When those comments were put to Mourinho ahead of the match, the United boss said: “I think Mr Taylor is a very good referee but I think somebody with intention is putting such a pressure on him that I feel that it will be difficult for him to have a very good performance.”
Mourinho was contacted by the FA for his observations on the comments and the body has now charged him with misconduct.
“Jose Mourinho has been charged with misconduct in respect of comments he made relating to the appointed match referee, prior to the Liverpool v Manchester United fixture on Monday 17 October 2016,” the governing body’s statement read.
“It is alleged his comments were improper and/or brought the game into disrepute contrary to FA Rule E3(1).
“Mr Mourinho has until 6pm on Monday 31 October 2016 to respond to the charge.”
Taylor handed out four bookings in total, all to United players, during the 0-0 draw at Anfield, with Mourinho praising his performance afterwards.
“Can I speak about the referee without being punished?” he asked the club’s press officer.
After being given the go-ahead, the Portuguese added: “He had a good game and I am happy for him because people with responsibilities put a lot of pressure on him and it was very difficult for him to have a good performance, which he had.”
However, it is the comments made before the game that have got Mourinho into bother.
New rules were introduced in 2009 in an attempt to crack down on pre-match comments about officials which could be viewed as intimidatory or influential.
In its statement at the time, the FA said: “Clubs are being advised that any media comments by managers, players or any other club officials relating to appointed match officials prior to a fixture will no longer be allowed – such pre-match comments will be deemed improper and dealt with accordingly.”