Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho and striker Diego Costa face an anxious wait to discover whether they will be charged by The Football Association following the controversial League Cup semi-final win over Liverpool at Stamford Bridge.
Mourinho, who on Wednesday was fined £25,000 and warned over his future conduct after claiming referees had become influenced by a media campaign against the Blues, could face further action from English football’s governing body.
The Portuguese boss refused to discuss his grievances over the game’s major incidents which included referee Michael Oliver’s failure to award Chelsea a penalty, send-off either Lucas Leiva and Jordan Henderson, or Costa’s stamping on Liverpool players, over fears he may be punished again.
“If I speak then the FA will try to punish me as they always do and always try,” he told Sky Sports. “It is difficult to accept, even in victory. I have to ask myself why?”
Speaking in his post-match press conference, Mourinho took aim at an unnamed Sky pundit over leading a “campaign” against Costa, stating: “There is a campaign on the television with a certain pundit that is saying Diego Costa ‘crimes’. This guy must be nuts.
“I saw the incidents. About the penalty, I don’t speak. I prefer not to speak. If I comment I will be in trouble and I don’t want to be.
“What you call stamps and Sky calls crimes, I have to say absolutely accidental. He goes to the ball, he chases the ball, as the opponent is on the floor, they have a contact, he puts his foot there when he’s looking to the ball.
“Great campaign. We know how much that pundit loves Chelsea and particularly loves me. When you are there and you are paid and you are very well paid – much more than some managers that have to put their ass, every 90 minutes, every weekend on the bench.
“These guys, they have a very good seat, very good money, no pressure. They are always right. They never lose, they always win, but they have to be fair and they have to be honest.”
The FA could take up to a week to confirm the charge against Mourinho. However, after being warned regarding his future conduct he might be facing a touchline ban should his latest comments be deemed to have brought the game into disrepute.
Costa meanwhile went unpunished for two separate stamps on Liverpool’s Emre Can and Martin Skrtel, and could be punished retrospectively should referee Olivier report to The FA that he saw neither incident.
If the official confirms he missed both episodes which were captured by television cameras at Stamford Bridge, Costa faces a minimum three-game ban for violent conduct. However, The FA could tally up the two offences or deem the incident ‘truly exceptional’ and extend the punishment.
With League Cup disciplinary rules differing from those used in the Premier League, The FA can fast track the charges against Costa – and any subsequent appeal – to ensure that if found guilty the Spanish striker’s ban starts for the visit of title rivals Manchester City.
Former England and Liverpool midfielder Jamie Redknapp told Sky Sports: “We all love Diego Costa. He’s a fantastic player. You would have him in your team any day of the week but he steps over the line sometimes.
“You know exactly what you’re doing there. You can hurdle someone’s leg but he’s definitely stamped on Skrtel. There’s a fine line in football between an aggressive action and a violent action. Unfortunately today Costa’s crossed that line.”
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